Why Trump’s presidential bid may be hurting his brand

Bookings at Trump hotels have plummeted as the GOP presidential nominee has stirred up controversy. Could the divisiveness of politics do more harm to his real estate empire than good?

Why Trump’s presidential bid may be hurting his brand
Donald Trump’s presidential bid has undoubtedly increased his profile – but it may actually be hurting his business, according to some observers.

Trump’s hotels have seen bookings plummet in recent weeks as the Republican presidential nominee has weathered repeated scandals, according to an NBC News report.

According to NBC, bookings at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., have taken a beating. When the hotel had its soft opening in September, rates for basic rooms started at more than $575 a night. The same room is now available for an unrestricted rate of $505, with a discount of more than $100 for AAA members.

The hotel has a prime location on Pennsylvania Avenue, and Trump himself has promoted it, but “empty rooms have forced (the) hotel to reduce rates during the peak season,” New York Magazine reported. Meanwhile, other five-star hotels in the area are renting rooms at full price or are already sold out, according to NBC News.

And bookings for Trump hotels in New York, Las Vegas and Chicago are also in freefall – down more than 58% year-over-year in the first half of 2016.

“While the Trump name is a powerful brand name, it may also carry some negative connotation with travelers from around the world,” Kevin Murphy, Hospitality Services Department chair at Rosen College of Hospitality Management, told NBC News.

It’s possible Trump recognizes that the divisiveness of politics can hurt business – his newest hotel line, announced last month, won’t feature his name at all, according to NBC News. The new hotel line will be called “Scion.”