April 18, 2021

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Former President Donald Trump may never fully recommit to his business roots.

Before taking office, Trump’s name was synonymous with his gaudily luxurious brand, and it was an asset. But Trump’s “human brand” is no longer “part of who he is,” Robert Passikoff of the firm Brand Keys tells The Washington Post — and investors say that has cost his business dearly.

Trump’s properties used to target “wealthy, city-dwelling customers and big-time convention planners,” the Post writes. But those audiences won’t touch his businesses anymore thanks to his incredibly divisive time in office, and his new enthusiastic fan base isn’t making up the difference. Several of Trump’s hotels have shut down since he took office, and his debts are continuing to pile up as condos and hotel rooms sit empty.

Investors are now circling the former president, looking to buy his properties as well as his loans to cash in on if he ends up defaulting. Four of those investors tell the Post they’re hoping to get a good deal on the buildings due to Trump’s tarnished brand. Once purchased, “the first thing you do is you take the Trump name off them — which, by the way, could be a multiple-week effort, because it’s on everything,” one potential buyer told the Post. Only then will the building become a “competitive asset.”

Those sales seem possible as sources say Trump remains focused on exacting revenge against his political enemies instead of his business. But so far, Trump hasn’t indicated he’s selling anything, and his son Eric Trump insists the family is still committed to the business. Read more at The Washington Post. Kathryn Krawczyk

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