PHOTO: Trump International Hotel, Washington, DC. (Photo via Flickr/Ted Eytan)
In Vancouver, a new Trump International Hotel and Tower is expected to open Tuesday, but protests and complaints from residents, councilmen and even the city’s mayor have created controversy surrounding the property.
According to The Associated Press, the 69-story hotel and tower has been lauded for its design and is setting records for the prices of the condominiums inside, but the property developer Joo Kim Tiah has been dealing with serious backlash.
Due to the views of many Canadians about United States President Donald Trump and his opinions and comments regarding Muslims, Mexicans and women, Joo Kim has said the process of working on the property is stressful and has made him unpopular in the city.
“I was terrified. The people who ran the city were not happy with me,” Joo Kim told The AP. “I was scared, but I think they understand. They understand that I'm trapped into—not trapped, locked into—an agreement.”
The Trump Tower is the second-tallest in Vancouver and offers breathtaking views, but it’s expensive. A one-bedroom apartment starts at around $1 million and two-bedroom condos in the building average $1.7 million. As for the cost of hotel rooms during the slow season, they start at $228 per night.
While Joo Kim will join Trump’s sons Donald Jr. and Eric at the grand opening Tuesday, Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson is urging the developer to drop Trump’s name from the property, claiming it has no place in the city.
As for City councilman Kerry Jang, he called the Trump Tower a “beacon of racism...intolerance, sexism and bullying.” He also went on to say, “It represents a brand that's over the top, glitz and glamor. It's not our thing.”
Protests are also planned during the building’s opening.
Joo Kim was quick to point out that 30 different ethnicities work at the hotel and 10 percent of the condo owners are foreigners, which is more than double the average in Vancouver. Despite these facts, Joo Kim said he understands why people are upset.
As for the building’s general manager Philipp Posch, he said that Trump’s political views are separate from the tower and hotel’s operations and that he is focused on, “getting the beds ready and putting a chocolate on your pillow for turndown.”