Two widely known brands have recently made announcements that could have a big impact on the American hotel industry.
First, the Trump Organization is launching a new chain of three-star hotels that will have much more affordable rates than those of the luxury properties the company has previously offered.
Called American Idea, the chain is expected to feature patriotic decor and bric-a-brac. The first three properties will be in small-town Mississippi—another break from the Trump Organization's previous way of doing things, with its focus on well-known, glamorous locales.
Critics have questioned whether the move is an attempt by the Trump family to cash in on red states, like Mississippi, where Pres. Trump garnered support during the 2016 election. Company executives, however, dismiss the idea that the electoral map plays any part in the plan, contending that an expansion was in the works well before the brand's namesake ran for office.
Despite the concerns of ethics experts and other politicians, Pres. Trump remains financially involved with the business.
And in less controversial news: The first hotel from furniture and housewares retailer West Elm will open next year in Detroit, the company has announced.
The 120-room property, described as a "millennial brand" by executives, will be located in the city's Midtown neighborhood, and about 70% of the furnishings in guest rooms will be West Elm products.
There are also West Elm hotels on the way in Charlotte, North Carolina; Indianapolis; Minneapolis; and Oakland, California.