Hotel groups take multi-branding to the next level

 —  Article by Maggie Nichols
Couple carrying their luggage in a hotel
Image credit: Shutterstock

With dozens of hotel chains vying for a slice of the highly competitive U.S. market, a growing number of brands owned by the same parent company have decided that they are stronger together than on their own.

Across the U.S., multi-branded hotels are opening their doors, typically offering separate guestrooms and breakfast rooms but shared common areas and back-end operations. Marriott broke ground on its first triple branded hotel earlier this summer. Located in Nashville, Tennessee, the property will feature an AC Hotels by Marriott, a Springhill Suites by Marriott and a Residence Inn by Marriott upon completion in 2018.

With a total of 470 guestrooms, this hotel covers three different price points and offerings, which should help Marriott garner a balanced mix of business and leisure travelers, says Geraldine Guichardo, Americas Head of Research for JLL’s Hotels & Hospitality Group.

“One of the most important aspects of building a successful multi-branded hotel project is ensuring that each brand caters to separate groups of customers,” she explains.

Despite the wave of industry attention, Marriott’s new project isn’t the first of its kind. A “triplex” opened in Chicago in 2013, including the Aloft Chicago City Center, a Fairfield Inn & Suites and the Hyatt Place Chicago/River North.

Even after Chicago’s triplex opened its doors, triple-branded properties didn’t take off similar to their dual-branded counterparts. But once Marriott’s triple-branded hotel is complete, other hotel giants may follow suit.

“Though triple-branded hotels aren’t likely to catch on to the extent of dual-branded hotels, Marriott’s project won’t be the last time we see three hotel brands in one building,” says Guichardo. “With three brands, you can cover a wide range of room rates and customer segments, maximizing the number of guests your hotel appeals to.”

Building on dual branded hotels

Today’s triple branded hotels build on the popularity of dual branded hotels, which have gained traction over the last five years.

Today, there are at least 75 dual-branded hotels open across the United States. JLL estimates that at least 3,000 additional rooms are being developed or converted in dual-brand developments, showing the demand exists and is growing.

Marriott is just one brand growing its multi-brand portfolio. “These projects offer a myriad of benefits to both our development partners and our guests,” says Tony Capuano, Executive Vice President and Global Chief Development Officer at Marriott International. “Developers can target multiple consumer segments while benefitting from significant construction and cost synergies. Hotel guests are offered a wider range of options to serve all of their travel needs.”

Is the sky the limit for multi branding?

The multi-brand trend shows no sign of slowing down, and hotel owners will start experimenting with different hotel combinations.

“We expect to see more unique brand marriages in the future,” continues Guichardo. “That might entail opening a full service and a select service hotel in one building or a combining a traditional brand with an edgier, more modern brand.”

As hotel owners look for new ways to maximize the value of their real estate, multi-branding will remain a popular tool at their disposal.

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