The Trump Organization announced that it was abandoning one of President Trump’s favorite businesses this past week, Trump SoHo, which was a surprise for many. Trump SoHo was one of the center pieces of Trump’s real estate empire and one of his favorite high end luxury businesses.
It turns out that NBA Superstar Lebron James was the catalyst that started the end of Trump SoHo. The Times reports that Lebron James refused to stay at Trump SoHo last year, which started a domino effect of others following his lead. Since Trump SoHo requires wealthy guests to stay in business, a globally known and wealthy superstar refusing to stay at the hotel was a worst case scenario.
“…according to a longtime member of the staff [@Trump SoHo] who asked not to be named because employees had signed a nondisclosure agreement. After LeBron James publicly refused to stay at the hotel last year, the corporate clients and 20 or so sports teams that had been regular guests almost entirely disappeared, the staff member said. Porters whose base salaries were once buoyed by up to $60,000 a year in gratuities have earned half as much in tips.” reported the Times.
ESPN reported last November after Trump’s election, that at least three NBA teams had elected to stop using Trump brand hotels during road trips to New York to “avoid any implied association with the new president-elect.” The Washington Post reported last month that 16 of 17 NBA teams that used to stay at Trump brand hotels have stopped doing so.
Lebron James has been a vocal voice against Trump this year, especially back in September when he called the president a “bum.” With the fall of Trump SoHo, Lebron James has emerged as one of the most profound forces acting against President Trump.