Will president's name vanish from Trump International Hotel & Tower after operator files for bankruptcy protection?

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      A former Vancouver director of planning is wondering if the Trump name will disappear from the second-tallest building in the downtown core.

      In 2015, Brent Toderian called for the renaming of the Trump International Hotel and Tower Vancouver after the U.S. politician said that Muslims should be banned from going to the United States.

      Today, in the wake of the building's operator seeking court protection from creditors, Toderian raised this issue again.

      "I'm not sure how fast City Hall would require the Trump sign to come down after the hotel permanently closes," he tweeted. "Sign rules say u can't advertise a use that isnt' there, as it's '3rd Party Advertising.' But with a closure, how soon/fast?'

      After Toderian issued his call in 2015, then mayor Gregor Robertson said the same thing.

      Grant Thornton Limited has been appointed as the trustee.

      TA Hotel Management Limited Partnership and its general partner, TA Hotel GP Ltd., have sought protection from creditors under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act.

      TA Hotel closed the hotel in April "for reasons involving the COVID-19 pandemic", AWM-Alliance Real Estate Group Ltd. CEO Michael Schuss wrote in a letter to residents last night on behalf of the strata council.

      The Trump Organization licensed its name to the developer, the Holborn Group. But the Trump family is not involved in operations of either the residential or hotel component of the 63-storey tower at 1161 West Georgia.

      Donald Trump and his children (left to right) Eric, Ivanka, and Donald Jr. visited Vancouver in 2013 when it was announced that their family name would grace the city's tallest building.
      Michelle da Silva

      Trump family members were in Vancouver to announced the name in 2013. At that time, Robertson did not meet Donald Trump. Rather, that task was left to then councillor Geoff Meggs, who is now chief of staff to Premier John Horgan.

      Schuss acknowledged that AWM is striving to ensure that essential services for residents remain in place.

      According to him, these were "primarily provided by staff of the Trump Hotel" in the past, but they have been "released from their respective employment".

      "We are also pleased to confirm that Abbey Management has been appointed by the owners of the hotel property portion of the tower and is working closely with the strata corporation to ensure that the performance of the tower [and] operations of building systems are maintained," Schuss wrote. "We have confirmed that the current Engineering team is to be retained."

      In 2018, CNN reported that the FBI was "scrutinizing: the role of Ivanka Trump in negotiations involving the Trump hotel in Vancouver.

      “The timing of the deal—as one of the few Trump-branded properties to open since Trump took office—could be of interest," the network stated. "The flow of foreign money, either from the developer or international condo buyers, could also be sparking scrutiny.”

      Following that report, Holborn Group head Joo Kim Tiah issued a statement that neither he nor his company has had any interactions or business dealings with Ivanka's husband, Jared Kushner. Nor were Tiah or Holborn contacted by the FBI.

      No legal actions flowed from any probe that might have occurred.

      Meanwhile, the hotel's award winning Chinese restaurant, Mott 32, has announced on Instagram that it's temporarily closed.

      On February 17, 2017, Donald Trump Jr., his brother Eric, and his half-sister Tiffany were in Vancouver for the grand opening of the hotel. While they were inside, a large group of demonstrators were protesting outside.

      “Vancouver is truly one of the great cities in the world, and it is fitting for the Trump brand," Eric Trump said at the time. "It’s something that we hold in the highest esteem. That’s what our father’s vision was all about, creating the most iconic buildings anywhere in the world.”

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