Local politicians have called it “a beacon of racism” and urged the developer to remove the Trump name — but so far the controversy hasn’t deterred Canadian corporations from booking rooms and meetings at Trump International Hotel and Tower Vancouver, slated to open this August.
“We’ve probably gone to close to close to 150 businesses over the last few months in various different outreach forms asking them for business, group business, corporate business, leisure business, cruise ship business, and people are embracing us with open arms,” said Philipp Posch, general manager of the hotel, in an interview on Business in Vancouver on Roundhouse Radio.
Posch said 10 weddings have already been booked for September through November, and several large Canadian companies have also booked at the hotel, which is the first new luxury hotel in Vancouver to open in six years. Posch declined to name any of the companies.
“So far we haven’t seen any setbacks from [being associated with] the politics of the campaign,” Posch said.
Last December, former City of Vancouver chief planner Brent Toderian took to Twitter to call for removal of the Trump name from the tower; Vancouver Coun. Kerry Jang and Mayor Gregor Robertson supported the idea. By that point, Trump had labeled Mexicans as “rapists” and promised to ban Muslims from entering the United States.
Since then, Trump’s rhetoric has only become more vitriolic: in the wake of the Orlando shootings, Trump said Muslims as an entire group were to blame because they didn’t turn the attacker in; he has also said that an American-born judge is unable to make an unbiased decision on a court case Trump is involved in because of the judge’s Mexican heritage.
The Trump Hotel in Vancouver has attracted several protests: in April a Mexican-Canadian construction worker hung a Mexican flag from the top of the tower, and this week a small group of protestors from the Muslim and LGBTQ communities gathered to hold hands as a stance against “racism and xenophobia,” according to media reports.
Posch said he and his staff can't be “distracted” by those or any future activities.
“So far we haven’t seen any setbacks from [being associated with] the politics of the campaign,” he said.
“This is a Vancouver product, it was built by Vancouverites, the people who are working in the building are Vancouverites, it’s a luxury hotel, it’s a new product in the city.”