President Donald Trump’s company is actively seeking to open a second Washington hotel as part of a planned nationwide expansion, potentially creating another venue where he stands to benefit financially from customers doing business in the nation’s capital.
Representatives of the Trump Organization, now run by the president’s adult sons, have inquired in recent months about converting one of several boutique, medium-sized hotels in upscale neighborhoods in and near downtown and reopening it under the company’s new Scion brand.
Unlike the luxurious Trump International Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue, which Trump and his family own, the more affordable Scion hotels would be owned by other developers who would pay the Trumps’ company for licensing rights and management.
“They’re trying hard to do Scion in this market and they’re trying hard in other markets also,” said developer Brian Friedman, who owns the Carlyle Hotel in Dupont Circle and Kimpton Glover Park.
Friedman, managing partner of D.C.-based Foxhall Partners, said Trump representatives had toured both properties in recent months and had previously inquired about a hotel Foxhall is developing in Adams Morgan.
Friedman said he also occasionally receives inquiries from buyers who say they have a licensing agreement with Trump for a Scion and wanted to buy one of his hotels and convert it.
“Definitely there are groups that say they are going to do a Trump Scion hotel,” he said. “These are just people running around saying ‘I have money and the brand is Scion.'”
While some of the inquiries predate the election, the company has continued to look for a Washington partner.
Eric Danziger, chief executive of the Trump Organization’s hotel division, more recently toured the 199-room Beacon Hotel, at 1615 Rhode Island Ave. NW, with an interest in converting the property to a Scion, according to a real estate executive who was not authorized to discuss the Trump Organization’s interest and spoke on the condition of anonymity. No agreement was reached.