The Trump Hotel Collection hired hospitality veteran Eric Danziger as its first CEO. Previously the CEO of New York City boutique hotel operator Hampshire Hotels & Resorts, Danziger is jumping on board the Trump Collection as it prepares to ramp up expansion.
“I believe there is an enormous global growth opportunity with Trump,” Danziger told The Wall Street Journal. He will report to presidential hopeful Donald Trump and three of his children: Donald Jr., Eric and Ivanka, who each hold the title of EVP of development and acquisitions.
Prior to Danziger's appointment, the highest ranking executive outside of the Trump family's involvement in the company was a chief operating officer, and Ivanka Trump told the Wall Street Journal the decision to hire a CEO was part of the company's plan to accelerate the growth of its footprint.
The Trump Collection plans on doing more management deals as it expands into foreign markets, but Ivanka Trump said that the company still plans on owning assets in markets where it is also developing. "We like to own and operate over the long term," she said.
According to Bloomberg, Danziger has worked in the hospitality industry for over 40 years, where he began as a bellman at the Fairmont in San Francisco. Since then he has held executive positions at companies including the Starwood Hotels and Resorts, Carlson and Wyndham Hotel Group.
“The Trump Hotel Collection has been an amazing success, and we are very pleased to welcome Eric to the company,” Trump said in a statement. “We have some of the greatest hotels in the finest locations in the world. Eric will play a vital role in our continued expansion and the incredible future of Trump Hotels.”
Currently at 14 properties, the brand's next hotel expected to open is the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., on the site of the historic Old Post Office building. It is aiming for a 2016 opening, but it may be doing so without two of its high-profile restaurants. Celebrity chefs José Andrés and Geoffrey Zakarian both backed out of their contracts with the hotel after Donald Trump's negative comments regarding Mexican immigrants came to light during his push for the Republican presidential nomination. Members of the Trump family maintain that neither of these chefs have any right to terminate their contracts with the hotel.
"In the event Mr. Andrés defaults in the performance of his obligations, we will not hesitate to take legal action to recover all unpaid rent for the entire 10-year term together with all attorneys' fees and additional damages we may sustain," Trump Jr. wrote in a statement. "We will also enforce the exclusivity provisions preventing Mr. Andrés from opening a competing restaurant anywhere in the D.C area. Mr. Andrés' obligations under the lease are clear and unambiguous."