The Trumps say they’re opening hotels in Dallas, Nashville and elsewhere. There is no evidence to prove it.

 In Science
Earlier this summer, the Trump Organization announced big plans to open a line of hotels across the country. The new brand, American IDEA, would be modestly priced and patriotically themed. “The product is very hometown and fits in every hometown in the United States,” Trump Hotels CEO Eric Danziger said during a presentation at Trump Tower in Manhattan, the same place where Donald Trump had announced his presidential campaign two years earlier.

American IDEA would be part of a wider rollout with another higher-end hotel line, Scion, that the Trumps had already unveiled. Progress on the hotels would be swift, Danziger said.

The Trump Organization had said it signed deals for Scion hotels in Nashville, Dallas, Cincinnati, Austin and New York. At various times, company officials have cited anywhere from 10 to 39 impending deals.

The Trumps declined to release any details about the deals. The Trump Organization wouldn’t name the developers partnering with it, or where the planned hotels would be. So we asked readers and journalists to help us figure out who the president’s company was working with and where.

What we’ve found are false starts, fizzled-out partnerships and, for a number of cities that the Trumps said they had deals in, no evidence of deals at all.

Nashville faced petitions after the Trump Organization said it was coming to town. But development and tourism officials we spoke to said they were unaware of any Trump hotel being planned. Bobby Bowers, senior vice president of operations for Hendersonville, Tennessee-based hotel industry research firm STR, said his company has no information about a Trump hotel partnership in Nashville, even among its “unconfirmed” listings. A spokesperson for the city’s convention and visitors bureau said the same thing.

In Dallas, a developer who had been working with the Trumps had declared the deal dead two months before the Trump Organization identified the city as a hotel site. (He also had plans for a Trump hotel in downtown St. Louis before political pressure and protests derailed it.)

The developer, Mukemmel “Mike” Sarimsakci, did not respond to a request for comment. If the plan is back on with Sarimsakci or a different partner in Dallas, city officials don’t appear to know about it. Requests for correspondence between the city and representatives of the Trump Organization, as well as requests submitted to Dallas’ Office of Economic Development, turned up no records.

Officials and hotel developers in Cincinnati also said they had not heard of any deals involving Trump.

And in Austin, the deal “died before Trump was elected,” the head of a firm that had been working on the project told the Austin Business Journal. “It’s absolutely 100 percent dead.”

Danziger declined to comment for this story. Other representatives for the Trump Organization’s hotel business did not respond to requests for comment.

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