Trump Soho Plans Layoffs

Bookings for corporate events are down sharply, and the hotel is planning layoffs. This year, it was down to 11 events, with fewer well-known names. In its heyday, Trump Soho   was a destination. Celebrity-filled limos regularly pulled up, and delighted tourists snapped selfies in front of the glassy tower. De Roos added that no more chocolates on the pillow is a good way to cut labor costs, but it won’t solve the bigger problem: the name on the marquee. The Trump Soho’s sagging fortunes stand in sharp contrast to some other properties that are closely associated with the president. Rooms at the five-star hotel cost over $700 a night, and the Koi restaurant on the ground floor rocked. “I have to believe that a lot of organizations would not want to have meetings at a Trump Hotel just to not have to deal with it,” he said. “The room rates are really affordable for people that want to come to a five-star hotel that don’t really want to spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars a night.” In January, CNBC reported   that membership fees at Mar-a-Lago, the President’s Florida resort-hotel, had doubled. Citing a post-election slump, Koi Restaurant has left a month earlier than planned, leaving an empty locked space off the lobby. And managers are prepared to lay off twelve room attendants (out of a housekeeping staff of 80) and eliminate turn-down service, two sources confirmed to WNYC. Documents reviewed by WNYC show the hotel’s conference and events business is also suffering: last year, the hotel booked 29 large corporate events between January and mid-May, for the likes of Citibank, GE, and Amazon. Today, you can find rooms for under $400 a night, several hundred dollars less than other five-star Manhattan hotels — less even than some four-star hotels. The AP reports The Trump International Hotel in Washington “has become the place to see, be seen, drink, network,” and room rates are rising. “Everybody’s really courteous,” said Sherry, a lawyer from Michigan who recently stayed at the Trump Soho, but didn’t want to give her last name. A Trump organization spokesperson declined to give specifics on the Trump Soho’s business, adding in an emailed statement: “As is typical in the hospitality industry, hotel rates and occupancy fluctuate due to factors such as seasonality and macro-economic forces….The hotel continues to receive top accolades.”
The hotel indeed remains well-liked: it has a certificate of excellence from TripAdvisor. “That sounds to me like a financially troubled hotel,” said Jan de Roos, a professor at the Cornell Hotel School. But five months into the Trump administration, it turns out that the Trump name may be undesirable in lower Manhattan.