Life on campaign trail through small-town America sparks idea for new Trump enterprise

Necessity is the mother of invention.

Life on the campaign trial in 2016 apparently inspired a business idea for the Trump family as they traveled through small towns across America.

The Trump Organization announced plans on Monday to launch a new three-star hotel chain with a patriotic theme called “American Idea,” the New York Times reported.

“There is no political thought to it,” chief executive of the company’s hotels division, Eric Danziger, said of the chain that will debut in Mississippi, a state that the president won over Hillary Clinton by 18 percentage points.

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Trump’s sons, who have taken over the company business while he serves as president, saw the need for budget-friendly accommodations while traveling during the campaign trail.

“I said, ‘That’s brilliant,’” Danziger said about the idea for a chain of hotels in small and midsize cities. “The reality is we should have something in those kinds of locations.”

“It has nothing to do with politics,” Trump’s son Don Jr. told ABC News, dismissing criticism of the name and the idea that they were trying to make a profit from his father’s position. “We’re trying to make money off of a hotel brand that we feel there’s a under-served market to. I think more companies could do better by being a little bit more patriotic.”

The Trump Organization had planned a hotel expansion for nearly two years and filed for a trademark on the American Idea name in April 2016, Danzinger told the Times. The new line of three-star hotels will have no connection to the president and the Trump name will not appear on the properties.

Trump hotels which are usually luxury properties in upscale locations, will now include the midscale and upper-midscale options, competing with nearly 20,000 other hotels for a share of the market, according to the Times. The new line will be re-branding existing Comfort Inn and Holiday Inn properties.

The American Idea hotels will feature “artifacts of American culture in the hotels, such as an old Coca-Cola machine in the lobby or American-made sundries in the rooms,” the Times reported.

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Critics will probably be wasting no time decrying the announcement as another example of a conflict of interest for Trump and his administration.

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Frieda Powers


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