BOISE — News that the top executive of Trump Hotels left the New York company to become CEO of an Idaho company has brought the spotlight on that company, Braintree Group.
Eric Danziger, who headed Trump Hotels since 2015, came to Boise to oversee Braintree, an investment and hotel company.
The company is named after a Massachusetts town 13 miles south of Boston. It was the birthplace of presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams and founding father John Hancock. “Braintree township asserted itself during the American Revolution with grit and passion for its values,” a Braintree subsidiary said on its website.
Braintree, with its headquarters in the old Macy’s building in downtown Boise, is rooted in a 2006 luncheon. Commercial real estate developer Jason Kotter was introduced by a mutual friend to dentist Ryan Van Alfen.
Kotter, who grew up in Nampa, and Van Alfen, a native of Bountiful, Utah, who opened a dental practice in Eagle in 2002, shared a belief in the importance of physical fitness and developing positive character traits as keys to successful education.
They founded Athlos Academies in 2007 to help private charter schools obtain financing to construct and improve school buildings. While public schools can obtain long-term financing through construction bonds backed by property taxes to build schools, charter schools cannot.
They raised money from investors willing to accept a smaller return in exchange for the social good new schools would provide.
The company — Athlos is Greek for “contest” or “feat” — also began selling educational materials and provided teacher training. The three-pillar approach focuses on student achievement, health and character.
In 2016, Athlos started its own charter schools. Today it operates one school each in Utah and Louisiana and two in Minnesota, but none in Idaho. Athlos also has a training center, sharing space with Braintree Group’s headquarters at 918 W. Idaho St.
In 2017, Braintree Properties, formed by Kotter and Van Alfen, began developing multifamily housing and storage units. The following year, they acquired a hotel management company, which also provides asset management services for other hotel owners.
A company reorganization took place in 2019, bringing Athlos Academies, Athlos Products and Services, Braintree Properties and Braintree Hospitality under the umbrella of Braintree Group.
Braintree owns and operates 14 hotels in the West, including the Hilton Garden Inn Boise Spectrum, 7699 W. Spectrum St.; a La Quinta in Twin Falls; and a Hampton Inn in Coeur d’Alene. It also operates four hotels in Oregon, along with others in Las Vegas; Gilbert, Ariz.; and Dallas.