Hotel Brands Share Real Estate, Sometimes Uneasily
At some dining rooms, guests have to produce their room keys to eat at the free breakfast buffet. No eggs and muffins for those staying in rooms with other keys, even if the guests slept under the same roof.
At Chicago?s so-called triplex ? where three hotel companies share space on a city block ? Starwood?s Aloft guests work out in a small gym within eyesight of a much larger one shared by Marriott and Hyatt hotel guests.
?Starwood had an issue, they didn?t want their guests intermingling with the other guests in the fitness area,? said Deno Yiankes, the head of investments and development for White Lodging, which codeveloped and operates the Chicago triplex. ?Each brand has its own little hot button. Marriott and Hyatt said it wasn?t a big deal, so they shared and got a bigger fitness center.?
Juggling those competing little hot buttons is one challenge developers face as they put up more and more hotels housing two or more brands in the same building.
Early this year, Marriott opened a hotel in Midtown Manhattan. The lower half is a Courtyard by Marriott, the upper floors are the Residence Inn, Marriott?s extended-stay brand. The Hyatt Hotels Corporation has two dual-branded hotels and at least four more in the pipeline. Hilton, which already has 15 dual-branded hotels in North America, has 17 more approved or under construction.
?It?s all the rage,? says Craig Mance, a senior vice president for development, North America, at Hilton Worldwide. A hotel being remodeled on Chicago?s Magnificent Mile will be split between its Hampton Inn brand while others will belong to its Homewood Suites brand. Mixed together. On the same floor.
So even as hospitality corporations spend millions of dollars each year to create distinct brands and experiences they hope will attract repeat customers, the lines between brands are being blurred by the economics of higher land prices.
Developers, trying to get the most out of high-priced downtown metropolitan areas, are searching for ways to slash construction costs and get as many rooms onto sites as possible.
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Source: Julie Creswell (2014). Hotel Brands Share Real Estate, Sometimes Uneasily, The New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/23/business/hotel-brands-share-real-estate-sometimes-uneasily.html?_r=0 published Apr 22, 2014. Viewed Apr 28, 2014.