The Vancouver hotel that bears the name of Donald Trump has closed and its hotel-management company has filed for bankruptcy after years of complaints from residents and politicians about the Trump presence in the city.
The website for the city’s Trump International Hotel now links only to the global site for Trump hotels, where the Vancouver property is no longer listed. No one answered the phone at the hotel’s main line.
Documents filed with the federal Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy say that TA Hotel Management Limited Partnership filed for bankruptcy Aug. 26, stating it had total liabilities of $4.8-million and assets of only $1.1-million. A creditors’ meeting has been set for Sept. 16.
Owner Joo Kim Tiah, who announced the Trump deal in 2013, did not return a request for comment.
The disappearance of the hotel designed by prominent Vancouver architect Arthur Erickson was not lamented by some city residents.
“I think it’s cathartic for the city to see it gone. It’s always been inconsistent with our values,” said Brent Toderian, a former chief of planning for Vancouver. He has been vocal since the hotel opened in 2017 about how the Trump brand was an affront to a city known for its diversity and inclusion.
Former mayor Gregor Robertson was another who registered objections to the name early on and he declined to attend the opening.
Mr. Tiah is one of the directors of TA Hotel GP Ltd., which is listed as the only partner of TA Hotel Management. The latter company would be the entity that oversaw the non-condo portion of the building as part of its hotel-management agreement with the Trump Organization.
Experienced hotel operators in town say that the closing of the hotel is not likely to impact the overall operations of Mr. Tiah, who is the son of one of Malaysia’s wealthiest men and who has been a presence in Vancouver for almost a decade.
Mr. Tiah’s main development and real estate company, Holborn Group, also owns the Hudson’s Bay parkade downtown, a major development site and the large chunk of land in central Vancouver that was once home to the city’s oldest social-housing complex.
One of the city’s large-hotel operators and developers, Peter Wall, dismissed the idea that the Trump name hurt the hotel. Instead, he said that the Trump hotel was small by downtown luxury standards, with only 147 rooms, and that it would have struggled as a result. The hotel occupies only 15 storeys of the 63-storey building.
Mr. Wall runs the Sheraton-branded hotel he built on Burrard Street. He said Mr. Tiah’s company, Holborn, would have made most of its money from the sale of the 217 condos on the other floors of the building – a common phenomenon with recent hotels in Vancouver. The building included a high-end chain restaurant from Hong Kong, Mott 32, which also just posted a notice saying it is closed.
Mr. Wall said he hopes another hotel chain will plant its flag in the building soon. The Four Seasons chain, which had to leave its Pacific Centre building last year, has been searching for a site.
Vancouver had been suffering from a shortage of hotel rooms before the pandemic, and those in the industry had been lobbying the city to find ways to encourage more construction.
The head of the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association said he believes that need is going to return.
“I would agree with others that [the Trump hotel situation] is more of an anomaly,” Charles Gauthier said. “Vancouver is going to be seen as a safe travel choice in the future. There is going to be a need for hotel rooms.”
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