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Donald Trump's New Business Drops the Toxic Brand Name

Updated: Oct 25, 2016 11:00 AM ET | Originally published: Sep 30, 2016

Donald Trump loves stamping his name on everything from building and golf courses to clothing and steaks. So it's surprising to learn that his company's new hotel brand doesn't incorporate the Trump name at all, as embarrassed Trump condo owners in New York City try to scrub the Republican presidential candidate's name off everything from doormats to concierge uniforms, according to the New York Times.

Back in June, the company made the announcement that Trump Hotels would be getting a sibling. At an event teasing the new brand, “The company did a video presentation that showed properties appearing to be less ornate than Trump hotels,” Travel Weekly said.

In September, Trump Hotels president and CEO Eric Danziger announced that the new brand will be called Scion, according to Hotel Business, introducing the name and the concept at an industry conference. While Trump’s existing properties are luxury resorts, Scion is positioned as a “lifestyle” brand. “[Danziger] felt an alternative was needed to capture market share outside the five-star tier,” Hotel Business said.

Even not saddled with the Trump name, Scion will have enough of a tough time when it debuts into a crowded field. Bloomberg noted that there are several established brands already targeting the same customer niche, many of them backed by big-name brands like Marriott's Moxy, Canopy by Hilton and Aloft, with shares a parent company with the trendy W chain.

Most of the Scion properties will be conversions of hotels that are operating under other brands now, and will be managed by Trump Hotels rather than franchised.

According to Travel Weekly, Danziger insisted that the move away from the Trump name has nothing to do with reports that Republican presidential candidate's polarizing political career may be hurting his flagship brand. He disputed the findings of an analysis conducted by booking site Hipmunk, which said that Trump hotel bookings in the first half of 2016 were down by roughly 59% from a year earlier. Trump's newest hotel in Washington, D.C., though, has been the target of protests and vandalism, and had two high-profile celebrity chefs drop their plans for a restaurant in the hotel, according to the Washington Post. And a recent analysis of check-in data conducted by the social app Foursquare found that foot traffic at Trump-branded properties fell 17% on a year-over-year basis.

No details were available regarding when or where the first Scion hotel will open. Discussing the new brand moniker, Travel Weekly said the company pointed out that it means “descendant of a notable family.”

Of course, Scion was also the brand name of a Toyota spin-off aimed at the young and hip, and that didn’t turn out too well. After debuting at the New York Auto Show in 2002, the Scion brand was folded by Toyota earlier this year due to disappointing sales. The Scion brand was targeted at millennials, but most customers turned out to be middle-aged drivers drawn to youthful-looking vehicles.

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