Prank-Calling Trump Hotels: How Employees Answer "Concerned" Mexican, Chinese and Female Guests
As reports say business has fallen off at the GOP candidate's properties, a group of THR interns and staffers called the embattled locations pretending to be troubled by his inflammatory behavior: "Management wouldn't call immigration on my family, right?"
Donald Trump’s polls aren’t the only lagging numbers in the GOP candidate’s portfolio these days. A new analysis by Foursquare found Trump-branded hotels, casinos and golf courses fell 16.5 percent in visit share in September compared to the year prior. Another study, done post-Access Hollywood video leak, found that the value of the Trump brand has dropped 8 percentage points in real estate and 6 percentage points in country clubs and golf clubs. But beyond just cutting into business, have Donald Trump's controversial proposals made things, um, awkward for the luxury properties worldwide bearing his name? That was the burning question as THR enlisted a trio of interns to assume the guises of concerned clientele — a Latina granddaughter, a white maid of honor and a Chinese secretary — and place calls to the front desks at various properties.
"I'm a big fan of The Apprentice and suggested my family stay at your hotel for a family reunion. But my abuelita has been crying, saying they're going to deport her if they stay at the hotel because of Mr. Trump's comments. Are there any assurances that you can provide that we will be treated well while staying there? Management wouldn’t call immigration on my family for staying at the hotel, right?"
Trump International Hotel and Tower Chicago: "Of course not. That will never happen."
Trump SoHo: "I'm not going to answer any of your questions unless I have the details of your reservation."
Albemarle Estate at Trump Winery: "Of course, absolutely, we treat our guests to the highest standard of service. … We treat our guests the way we would want to be treated."
Trump Doral Miami: "We don't have anything to do with immigration, so she'd be OK."
Trump Hotel and Tower New York: "I'm sorry if she's worried about staying here. Goodbye." Hangs up.
Trump Hotel and Tower New York (second call): "I'm not answering that question, okay? It sounds like a personal issue. I have no jurisdiction over that question whatsoever."
Trump Hotel and Tower New York (third call): (Presumably joking) "They might. They just might."
"My best friend is getting married and I'm the maid of honor. A group of six of us bridesmaids are looking to book a round of spa treatments for early December, but a couple of the girls have heard about how Mr. Trump has said he allowed himself to walk into dressing rooms at the Miss Universe pageant because he owned it. These girls are pretty conservative and are worried – can Mr. Trump or other senior male executives or managers just walk into the changing rooms and spa? Can we be assured that won’t happen?"
Trump Doral Miami Spa: "He's never here. So that wouldn't happen."
Trump Hotel Las Vegas Spa: "We have someone monitoring at the front desk at all times."
Trump International Hotel and Tower New York Spa: "Absolutely, we can assure that. … We have private locker rooms for men and women."
Trump Waikiki Spa: “Everything is done in-room. So you change and everything in your own room."
Trump SoHo Spa: Put on hold indefinitely.
"Hello, I'm calling to check in on behalf of my boss. He's a Shanghai-based businessman who's been staying at Trump properties for about 15 years. But due to the anti-China campaign talk, he's concerned about how he might be treated by staff and management. Is Mr. Trump's political policy also the policy of the hotel?"
Trump Hotel and Tower Toronto: "This hotel is managed by a management company owned by his daughter. It is not directly associated with him."
Trump Hotel and Tower Panama: "His policy in the U.S. will not affect the business here. If your boss comes, we will do our best to satisfy him."
Trump Turnberry: "We are fully open to any guests. Trump's political policy will not reach us."
A version of this story first appeared in the Nov. 4 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.