Trump International Hotel Las Vegas
Trump Hotel Las Vegas or the Trump International Hotel Las Vegas is a 64-story luxury hotel, condominium, and timeshare located on Fashion Show Drive near Las Vegas Boulevard, just off the Las Vegas Strip in Paradise, Nevada, named for real estate developer and the 45th and current President of the United States Donald Trump. It is located across the street from Wynn Las Vegas, behind Alon Las Vegas on 3.46 acres (14,000 m2), near the Fashion Show Mall, and features both non-residential hotel condominiums and residential condominiums. The exterior glass is infused with gold. The hotel is a member of The Leading Hotels of the World.
Tower 1 opened on March 31, 2008, with 1,282 rooms. The hotel features two restaurants: DJT, named after the developer, and a poolside restaurant, H2(eau). Due to the overwhelming seller’s response from the first tower, Trump announced that a second, identical tower would be built next to the first tower; the mid-2000s recession put that plan on indefinite hold. It is Las Vegas‘s tallest residential building at 640 feet (200 m). In September 2012, the Trump Organization announced that it sold roughly 300 condominium units in Trump International Hotel Las Vegas to Hilton Worldwide‘s timeshare division, Hilton Grand Vacations.
History of Trump Hotel Las Vegas
In April 2002, Phil Ruffin announced that he had partnered with Donald Trump to build Trump Tower Las Vegas, a $300 million 60-story condominium tower with 300 units and the possibility of a casino, to be constructed on Fashion Show Drive, near Ruffin’s New Frontier Hotel and Casino. Trump had initially approached Ruffin two years earlier about developing a property on or near the Las Vegas Strip. Construction on Trump Tower Las Vegas was to begin in six to seven months, and was expected to last approximately 18 months. In August 2003, Ruffin said the tower had been decreased to 43 stories and was expected to cost $272 million.
In November 2003, Trump denied that the project had been delayed or that it was suffering from a lack of financing. Trump also said he was considering “something on a larger scale” for the project. In July 2004, Ruffin said the project had been delayed up to that point because of other business ventures, including Trump’s reality television show, The Apprentice. That month, Trump and Ruffin announced revised plans for Trump International Hotel and Tower, a $300 million condominium-hotel with over 1,000 units. Although Trump held a Nevada gaming license, he chose not to include a casino on the property. Donald Trump’s son, Eric Trump, later said, “We have no problem getting a gaming license, but we wanted to do something different here. We wanted a true luxury resort experience. It’s hard to have a high-quality product when you walk into ‘ding, ding, ding’ and there are people walking around in Hawaiian shirts with big plastic drink mugs.”
Ruffin appeared in an October 2004 episode of The Apprentice to sign a $300 million deal with Trump regarding the project. The project was referenced again in the show’s second-season finale, when winner Kelly Perdew was offered a job at the property. Jack Wishna, who introduced Trump to Ruffin, was a minority partner in the project. In January 2005, the project was valued at $1 billion. Groundbreaking was initially scheduled for May 2005, with completion expected by the end of 2006. By May 2005, all of the tower’s 1,282 condominium units had been reserved by prospective buyers.
Trump and Ruffin held a groundbreaking ceremony for the project on July 12, 2005. The Las Vegas Review-Journal wrote that the event was “really a ribbon-cutting and photo opportunity”. News programs such as Access Hollywood and Extra provided coverage of the event, which was attended by approximately 300 state and local government representatives, as well as Carolyn Goodman, showgirls, Steve Wynn and his wife Elaine Wynn, and Miss USA 2005 winner Chelsea Cooley.
Condominium units went on sale the same day with the opening of a $3 million temporary sales center at the corner of South Las Vegas Boulevard and Fashion Show Drive, in front of the New Frontier. The building was 8,100 sq ft (750 m2), and featured a 10-foot replica of the tower. That month, an NBA team was in negotiations to purchase an entire floor of the tower, while Trump was considering an alternate version of The Apprentice that would involve the tower. Construction was expected to begin by the end of that summer, and was expected to last 24 to 30 months.
Construction began in November 2005, when the building’s foundation was poured. After the completion of a 36,000-square-foot recreational deck in March 2006, an average of 800 workers constructed one new floor for the tower approximately every six days. The tower was topped out on May 25, 2007. The project was constructed at a cost of $500 million, on 3 acres (1.2 ha) of land that was part of the rear parking lot for the New Frontier. The project was designed by Bergman, Walls & Associates and built by Perini Building Company.
Trump Hotel Las Vegas opened on March 31, 2008. An opening ceremony was held by Trump and Ruffin on April 11, 2008. By October 2008, only 21 percent of condo unit sales had closed, as potential buyers had trouble securing mortgages. As of 2013, Eric Trump oversees operations at the tower.
On December 4–5, 2015, employees voted to unionize the hotel property. Donald Trump owns a penthouse on the 61st floor.
By April 2005, a second, identical 64-story tower was being planned, due to popular demand. Sales of the second tower were planned to begin by the end of 2005, with a 35 percent increase in prices from the first tower. In November 2005, the second tower was planned to open sometime in 2009.
In April 2007, the second tower was the subject of an episode of The Apprentice in which the show’s candidates were tasked with creating a marketing program for the new tower. Condo units for the tower went on sale the next day. Trump said the tower would be nearly identical to the first tower, and would also include 1,282 units. Because of rising construction expenses, the second tower was expected to cost $625 million, which would have brought the total cost of Trump International Hotel and Tower to $1.1 billion. This number was later reported to be $1.2 billion in February 2008, at which point the second tower was expected to begin construction at the end of the year.
In April 2008, Trump said he had not decided on a start date for the second tower, choosing to wait until all sales had closed on the first tower’s rooms. At that time, reservations were still being accepted for the second tower’s units. The second tower was ultimately put on hold because of bad credit markets. In August 2015, Eric Trump spoke of the potential for the second tower: “I think in time it’s a very good possibility.”