Trump organization says hotel deal in Dallas is off

AP News
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Posted: Apr 13, 2017 5:48 PM

DALLAS (AP) — A deal to build a new Trump-brand hotel in Dallas has been abandoned.

A spokeswoman for the Trump Organization said Thursday that the president's company told the developer not to pursue the deal with the city council.

The developer, Mike Sarimsakci, declined to comment when reached by phone.

City council member Philip Kingston, who opposed the project, said Sarimsakci told him and another council member this week that he was switching to another hotel operator because of local concern "about the Trump name."

Sarimsakci signed a letter of intent for a Scion hotel in a redeveloping section of downtown. Scion is a new brand that the Trump Organization is trying to roll out. It would feature lower prices than the luxury Trump Hotels and cater to a younger audience.

The project, however, drew intense media and public scrutiny because of the Trump name and Turkish-born Sarimsakci's plan to involve investors from Turkey, Qatar and Kazakhstan — whom he would not identify. He later said he had ruled out foreign investors.

Ethics experts said that outside money, whether foreign or American, raised the possibility of people trying to gain favor with the Trump administration by doing business with the president's company.

The publicity around the Dallas project appears to have annoyed the Trump Organization.

The company does not announce deals before they are signed and prefers to keep the specifics of deals private, the Trump Organization spokeswoman said.

But, she added, "This developer made quite a bit of noise about a potential deal," and when he called to ask about pursuing the deal further with city officials, "We told him that he should not."