Eponymously named hotel companies

The Los Angeles Times has a story about Donald Trump locking horns with city officials at Rancho Palos Verdes where he built his eponymous golf course. While few come close to putting their moniker on just about everything they touch as the Donald, hotels named after their founders are few and far between with the most famous being Hilton and Marriott. Kemmons Wilson who launched the now ubiquitous Holiday Inns also has Wilson Inns but few know of that brand. More latterly, Bill Kimpton’s Kimpton hotels leads the boutique segment both in name recognition and quality of service and products. And the latter is what it’s all about. When Donald Trump threw his hat in the airline business in the 80’s, he embarked on an unsustainable proposition – mass luxury on a quotidian scale. It foundered pretty rapidly with myriad problems not the least of which was tardy service. His fabled name did little to lift the airline out of bankruptcy. As any good marketer knows, a brand name only aids in the recall process. If the memory of service provided is bad, no hotel, whatever its name, can count on longevity.

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Vijay Dandapani

Co-founder and president of a New York based hotel company for 24 years. Grew the firm to five hotels in Manhattan and also developed a greenfield project at MacArthur airport, New York. Speaker at numerous prestigious forums including Economy Hotels World Asia, Lodging Conference, NYU, Columbia University Real Estate Roundtable, Baruch College's Zicklin School and ALIS. President and ceo of New York City Hotel Association since January 2017.

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