Trump hotel in Vancouver has shut its doors

Trump International Hotel & Tower has permanently closed the Trump hotel, which has been shuttered since April due to COVID-19

Business in Vancouver
August 28, 2020

Donald Trump at hotel branding
— Now-U.S. President Donald Trump at a branding ceremony at the Trump International Hotel & Tower.

The Trump International Hotel & Tower on West Georgia Street in Vancouver has permanently closed the Trump-branded hotel permanently after being shut down for five months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mott 32, the upscale Cantonese restaurant at the site, closed on August 27.

The Trump hotel closed April 4 and did not reopen, unlike peers such as the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, Fairmont Pacific Rim or the Hyatt Regency. 

Holborn Group of Companies CEO Joo Kim Tiah did not immediately answer a BIV email, which asked what the plan is for the site and whether there could be new tenants.

Staff have been laid off. Under the BC Employment Standards Act, temporary layoffs were to become permanent, by statute, after 13 weeks. The B.C. government extended the deadline twice, first to 16 weeks and then to 24.  If the employee is not recalled by then, he or she is deemed, by statute, to be permanently laid off, which triggers severance payment obligations. 

These laws may have spurred the Trump Organization to terminate its Vancouver staff this week. 

BIV on August 27 phoned the Trump hotel to try to make a reservation in October, and the concierge who answered, who said his name was Benjamin, said that "the hotel is closed indefinitely but thank you so much for thinking of us."

The Trump hotel has had a sign on its back entrance since early April that said that "the Trump International Hotel and Tower Vancouver will be closed for the foreseeable future."

The 15-floor, 147-room Trump hotel is under more than 200 luxury residences in a 63-storey tower, the second-tallest building in Vancouver.

The Trump International Hotel and Tower sold out 214 luxury condominiums at an average of $1,615 per square foot by 2016, a record price at the time for a new condominium project in Canada. The Trump tower sales included a selection of $6.4 million sub-penthouses, according to the Holborn Group, which developed the $360 million project with TA Global Bhd. Three top-floor penthouses were priced from $20 million.

Trump Vancouver was named Canada’s No.1 real estate development by Elite Traveler magazine, and was the only Canadian development it ranked among the Top 100 developments in the world when it opened in February 2017.

Rumours have swirled for more than a year that the Four Seasons was in talks to take over day-to-day operations at the hotel. Tiah last year, however, told BIV in an interview that he had held no such talks and that the speculation was  merely rumour.

The reason that the Four Seasons has been cited as a replacement manager for the hotel is because that hotel brand has said that it plans to reopen a presence in Vancouver. The hotel chain closed its hotel on Howe Street near West Georgia Street, connected to CF Pacific Centre, in January, after having operated in that space for more than 43 years. 

Landlord Cadillac Fairview's Western Canadian director, Tom Knoepfel, told BIV in January that his company plans to replace the Four Seasons with a “world-leading, luxury lifestyle brand." He added that Cadillac Fairview is in talks with a few possible tenants. It is possible that Cadillac Fairview could create its own brand and run the hotel itself, but the future operator "will likely be a third party," he said.


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