Eric Danziger, CEO of Trump Hotels, got his start right here in the City by the Bay, working in 1971 as a bellman at the Fairmont Hotel. Now he'd like to see the hospitality empire over which he presides capitalize on the moment, perhaps brief, where its brand namesake is in the White House, entering an expansion mode with major cities like San Francisco in its sights.
“There are 26 major metropolitan areas in the U.S., and we’re in five,” Bloomberg quotes Danzinger in a speech this week, intimating major expansion plans and naming San Francisco as a target.
Considering the possibility of a Trump Hotel in San Francisco, CBS 5 spoke with some local leaders on the subject. A day after a rally at City Hall to rebuke President Trump's executive order to cut funding to Sanctuary Cities like San Francisco, Mark Farrell, the Marina district Supervisor and chairman of the city's land use committee, found the idea of granting sanctuary to a Trump Hotel borderline comedic. "You know on the same day that Donald Trump is on the national media on television talking about penalizing and taking money away from cities such as San Francisco — actually highlighting San Francisco — is the same day that his company comes out and says they want to build a hotel here? Good luck with that."
Further, Farrell got in a dig at the bureaucracy that characterizes San Francisco development projects. “There are examples every single month inside of City Hall of people not being able to put windows, replace their windows on the outside of their buildings because it doesn’t meet with some form of code; projects getting denied because of neighborhood oppositions,” explained Farrell. “This would be true citywide opposition.”
And in a last turn of the screw, the Supervisor even took a shot at Trump's aesthetic: “Plus, his hotels are incredibly ugly and gaudy. Why would we want that in the city of San Francisco?”
Donald Trump's failure to divest from his hotels and other business holdings have drawn sustained criticism and assertions of conflicts of interest. “Although he is now officially the leader of the free world, Donald Trump remains both a businessman and a brand,” Wendy Patrick, a professor of business ethics at San Diego State University, said in an e-mail to Bloomberg. “The fact that the hotel chain that bears his name is seeking to expand within the United States raises questions of both law and ethics.”
The close connection between Trump and Trump Hotels also presents an issue for local workers, as CBS 5 learns: “We don’t see the distinction between Trump hotels and the President himself,” said president of the local hotel worker's union Anand Singh.“It’s... important that he respects the values that the city really does espouse, including protection of immigrant workers including protection of LGBT and of Muslims."
But hey, with Trump's new DC hotel losing money hand over fist, how real is this expansion plan, anyway? We've already got one building, 555 California, that's partially owned by Trump — that's more than enough for most of us.