Looking out at the southwest corner of Central Park, the crowd at Jean-Georges yesterday was mostly made up of champagne-sipping journalists and Trump Organization executives, patiently awaiting the man of the hour and his three oldest children.
Unfortunately, Eric Trump couldn't make it—he's in Mexico on official Trump business—but the beautiful Ivanka, clad in black and white with sparkling peep-toe pumps, and her brother Don Jr. were there to announce the big news: New York has become too small a playground for these growing Trumps. With Pappa Trump's approving nod, the children announced the expansion of the Trump Hotel Collection into the rest of the world.
Whether the rest of the world is ready or not.
The site of the press conference was appropriate—the 10-year-old Trump International Hotel and Tower at the base of Central Park West was the first Trump Hotel to hit the streets of New York, and has set a precedent for what's to come.
By 2010, hotels with the Trump name are scheduled to pop up in Chicago, Las Vegas, Fort Lauderdale, Hawaii, Central America, Toronto, Scotland, and Dubai. And keeping up the tradition in New York will, of course, be Trump SoHo—the development whose height has inspired the protests of locals in the neighborhood.
Plans for the new hotel brand can give New Yorkers a sense of what's growing in their own backyard. Ms. Trump stressed personalized services such as an Attaché that remembers customers' preferences and spa treatments named by the Trumps themselves. Still, the hotels will not all resemble one another.
"SoHo's going to have a completely different attitude," Jim Petrus, the chief operating officer at Trump International Hotels Management said. "We want SoHo to feel like it's SoHo." He stressed that the Trump Hotels would be a brand, not a chain.
"It's all going to be about luxury, but we want to be sure that it definitely fits into a SoHo environment," he added.
The guest demographics at the new developments will be similar to those at Trump International, Mr. Petrus said, citing an average age range of 35 to 55, with an average household income of more than $400,000.
The Trump children said they have been involved in most steps of the planning for these projects, including designing uniforms for employees and jumping on beds to test mattresses.
"I want to thank our father for letting us be a part of this brand," Don Jr. said.