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In New York, the Trump Organization is preparing for a big opening party for Trump SoHo—but down in Florida, things aren't looking nearly as sunny for the Trump Fort Lauderdale. Trouble for the beachfront condo-hotel project began with the real-estate slump and credit crisis, but worsened in March, with a mortgage holder filing for foreclosure against the developers, SB Associates LLC.
Celebrity Scoop / Hot Hotelier News / Andre Balazs / Steve Wynn / Donald Trump / Evan Lysacek / → All Tags
He's won the gold medal in figure skating, he's got the girl (fellow gold medalist Natsia Liuken) and he's rumored to do a stint on "Dancing with the Stars" but what does Evan Lysacek really want to do? According to Entertainment Weekly, he may get involved with hotels.
I have a lot of other interests…. Movies, design, other sports, literature, photography, fashion, travel, music, etc. But I am the kind of person that likes to sit down and formulate a plan and a course of action before I take my first step in a new direction. I need to find something that gives me the perfect balance of discipline and creativity. I’ve always admired hotel moguls like Andre Balazs, Steve Wynn, and Donald Trump (more real estate than hotel).
If you're a discerning traveler who only enjoys spending the night at Trump Hotels, then you can finally start booking your Hawaii vacation as Trump Waikiki has finally opened its doors to real live guests yesterday. The AP reports:
The 38-story, 463-unit tower is located steps from the sand and Fort DeRussy Park. It features a library, wine cellar and a spa, along with 24-hour room, valet and concierge services. The fully furnished suites, which have views of the Pacific and the Honolulu skyline, feature everything from high-end appliances to Italian marble counters.
Oh and let's not forget about the hotel's very kid-friendly services!
With all the breathless anticipation over the February opening of the Trump SoHo, we almost forgot that the Don and the kids had other properties. (Almost but not quite—after all, how can you miss those towers cutting off your access to the sun?) But you don't expect the Trumps to let their flagship baby languish while the cool kid downtown gets all the attention, do you? Of course not!
So it will come as no surprise, then, that the Trump International Hotel & Tower New York (that big sucker at the bottom of Central Park) is getting a multimillion-dollar spit and polish come January.
While the Forbes (formerly Mobil) Five-Star Hotel has always been stately and posh, the renovations will, according to Donald J. Trump Jr, put it in step with the "elegant, classic-contemporary feel of the other Trump Hotel Collection properties." It was Don Jr. himself who approved the model room displaying the proposed renos. So, what can all those tween stars expect when their tours bring them back to NYC in 2010?
The certificates start at $50 and go up to $5,000 and they are only good for one property. So there's no hopping from New York to Vegas, unless you gift your special someone with two gift certificates.
Since we're not so keen on the Trump Las Vegas, we say you might be best either at the Trump Chicago, which just opened last year or bide your time for Trump Soho, opening February 1st. (Trump Waikiki is not available for a gift card just yet.)
Uh-oh! Remember how we told you that Trump Fort Lauderdale was having some sorta-bigtime issues and may not have the Trump name on it after all? The condo-hotel development's "opening date" of late 2009 was a little bit ambitious, and developers had sent a letter out to condo buyers to notify them that the folks behind the project were in default of a licensing agreement that allowed use of Trump's name on the project and then, when buyers heard that there was a pretty decent possibility that Trump's name was going to be yanked from the building altogether, they wanted nothing to do with the place and sued developers for misleading them into thinking Trump was definitely going to be in on the project. Whoops!
And then we told you that Trump Waikiki was having no such issue, and was moving along just fine. But: not so!
Pacific Business News reports today:
Buyers of 11 of the units at the Trump International Hotel & Tower in Waikiki filed a lawsuit Monday against the developer seeking to cancel their purchase contracts because use of Donald Trump’s name on the luxury condominium project is not guaranteed.
Sounds mighty familiar.
With all this doom and gloom talk about Hawaii ("Nobody's going there! Nobody wants to go there!" Etc, etc, etc.), it comes as a welcome surprise to read an article in Pacific Business News that condo buyers at the Trump International Hotel & Tower in Waikiki are stickin' to their word and not canceling which, unfortunately, is more than the Trump building in Ft. Lauderdale can say (but that's a whole other mess with different issues).
According to the article:
Once the building is finished, it will operate as a Trump International Hotel, the 20-month-old brand from mogul Donald J. Trump’s Trump Organization. Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, executive vice president of development and acquisitions, is overseeing the Waikiki project.
[...] Room rates will be competitive with some of the other luxury properties in Waikiki, including the neighboring oceanfront Halekulani, the Royal Hawaiian Hotel and the Kahala Hotel & Resort, which charge $300-$395 and $650-$670 for standard and oceanfront rooms, and up to $1,440 for two-bedroom suites.
Kinda steep, no? Hopefully this all gets finished on schedule and everything works out as planned, though we're not going to hold our breath for the 2009 opening that the website promises.
Update! A hotel rep says the hotel is "very much on track for a late 2009 opening." Huh! Go figure.
There is a Trump condo-hotel project going up in Fort Lauderdale. Not surprisingly let us not forget the problems that have seemed to plague many, many upscale condo-hotel projects recently (i.e. the condos aren't sellin' too well) there are some problems with the 298-room development. Some big problems, really so big, in fact, that the whole thing might never be completed and The Donald is trying to yank his name from the project altogether.
The Miami Herald is saying that its "opening date" of late 2009 is a bit ambitious. Apparently, the developers had sent a letter out to condo buyers to notify them that developers of the condo-hotel were in default of a licensing agreement that allowed use of Trump's name on the project among other things:
The May 13 letter said given the ''uncharted economic climate,'' developers did not expect the hotel to open if fewer than 50 percent of buyers close on their units. But if the hotel doesn't open, the letter said, owners could not occupy their units, given local zoning rules for condo-hotels.
Good one. Now 30 of those condo buyers have turned around and are trying to sue the developers and Trump for misleading them into thinking Trump was definitely going to be in on the project. As for whether or not the hotel is going to open up at all? Well, we're thinkin' that if things are bad enough for Trump to want to pull out, they must be real bad; after all, he's had his name on the Taj Mahal for all these years (zing!)
Celebrity Scoop / Donald Trump / Dennis Rodman / TV Set Hotels / Loews Hotels / Jonathan Tisch / → All Tags
Oh dear. We certainly hope you spent your Sunday evening watching the contestants of this season's Celebrity Apprentice as they attempted to run a few rooms at the Loews Regency Hotel. Because, um, you know how we said reality shows about hotels don't work? We take it back: hotel TV shows most definitely work when you throw Joan Rivers and Dennis Rodman into the mix.
If you didn't catch the episode, no worries: we've got a rundown of what, um, went down when Loews' head honcho Jonathan Tisch challenged the remaining 12 contestants (separated into male and female teams) to step in to take over the management of several rooms (per team) at his NYC hotel.
Well, it's dark times for the Trumpster. As we reported yesterday, things have been rough for the real estate giant you know, with Trump Entertainment (the company behind the casino properties) filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and all.
But meanwhile, the Trump International Hotel in NYC seems to have no problem drawing crowds. Unfortch, these aren't the types of crowds that are gonna be filling up rooms in the hotel (unless they snatch Daddy's credit card and some fake ID's): they're tweens. The mobbing, screaming kind. Jonas Brothers fans.
Christine from OnLocationVacations sent over these photos of a Jonas mob, which were taken this weekend when the trio was exiting the hotel. It's cool that they were staying there and all, but we cannot possibly imagine having a screaming mob outside the lobby of the place we were staying. Like, we don't expect NYC to be a quiet sanctuary but a screaming tween mob, people. No thank you.
It looks like the boys were gracious and stopped for a couple photo ops and autographs. And with our luck, we would totally have been the guests who tried to walk into the lobby as soon as the Jonas Brothers came out, getting stuck behind the barricades and the Uggs. More photos of the scene here.
[UPDATE:: Trump Entertainment has filed for bankruptcy.]
On Friday, Donald Trump and his daughter Ivanka resigned from their positions on the board of Trump Entertainment Resorts due to a dispute with the bondholders of the the company. Trump Entertainment Resorts owns the Taj Mahal, Trump Plaza and Trump Marina in Atlantic City, although the Trump Marina is under contract to be sold.
Donald and his daughter resigned because tomorrow is the day that a $53 million dollar interest payment is due, and it's widely expected that the company will default on it, putting Trump Entertainment into bankruptcy for the third time over the past two decades.
There's tons of hotel news flying around this week and we don't have time to give each and every story the love and attention it may deserve, so you will have to settle for some news briefs.
· Construction on Trump Dubai Stopped: We're a little late to hearing this but the planned Trump Tower has been delayed in Dubai. Hopefully, it will continue construction soon. We wouldn't want that Xtina performance to go to waste. [NYT Blogs]
· Football Coaches Fall Through Hotel Window: The two were wrestling inside the Gaylord Opryland Hotel. One is still in critical condition in the hospital while the other has been upgraded to fair. [IHT]
· Hawaii Occupancy Keeps Slipping: The average occupancy rate for Hawaii in November dipped to a sad 63 percent. [Honolulu Advertiser]
· Celeb-Stalking at the Inauguration: Barack Obama will not be the only celeb in DC next week. Check out where your faves will be partying for the inauguration. [Jaunted]