This month’s roundup of news from the independent hotel sector includes: New hotel concepts in Chicago, Canada and Orlando; people on the move; and the latest independent hotel openings.
Hotel News Now’s Independent Insights newsletter each month features a news roundup from the independent hotel sector. Subscribe to the free monthly newsletter here.
New indie vibe for Chicago’s Hard Rock Hotel
Becker Ventures, which redeveloped Chicago’s Carbide & Carbon Building downtown into a Hard Rock Hotel in 2004, is shedding the Hard Rock flag to rebrand the hotel into an independent property, managed by Aparium Hotel Group. The Chicago Tribune reports that details, including a new name for the property, have not been announced yet.
Carrie Meghie, Becker Ventures’ co-president, told Crain’s Chicago Business that with a new look and management team, “we can position ourselves slightly more luxury … (and) something more Chicago-based that will resonate with the locals.”
Whistler plans pod-style hotel
A variation on a cruise-berth/pod-hotel is coming to Whistler, British Columbia, with the development of The Pangea Pod hotel, slated for a spring 2018 opening. The hotel, redeveloped from a former timeshare housing complex, will have 88 private, modern sleeping pods.
Pangea Pods founder Russell Kling told Global News Canada that the company wants “to play in that wide open space between what a hostel outside of town charges and what a hotel inside of town charges.”
The lodging will have a common area and an outdoor rooftop patio.
Star Wars-themed hotel promises the ultimate experience
Disney confirmed it is building a Star Wars-themed hotel in Orlando as part of its under-development Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge theme park.
The immersive hotel experience will take authenticity to a new level. Bob Chapek, chairman of Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, said on the Disney Parks blog that “it’s unlike anything that exists today. From the second you arrive, you will become a part of a Star Wars story. You’ll immediately become a citizen of the galaxy and experience all that entails, including dressing up in the proper attire. … It is 100% immersive, and the story will touch every single minute of your day.”
Deals and developments
- Hotel EMC2 opened in Chicago in late June. The 195-room hotel is managed by SMASHotels and is part of Marriott International’s Autograph Collection.
- Hotel Via opened in San Francisco in late June. The independently owned and operated hotel has 159 rooms.
- Nancy White was named GM of Cliff House Maine, a waterfront resort on Maine’s southern coast.
- Keith Butz was named GM of The Confidante Miami Beach in Florida. He previously served as GM of the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa.
- Richard Verruni was named GM of Allegretto Vineyard Resort in Paso Robles, California. Most recently, he was managing director of Bishop’s Lodge Ranch Resort & Spa in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
- Matt White was named director of sales for Teton Mountain Lodge & Spa and Hotel Terra Jackson Hole, both managed by Noble House Hotels & Resorts and located in Jackson Hole, Wyoming’s Teton Village.
- Noble House Hotels & Resorts will manage Solé On The Ocean, a boutique hotel in Sunny Isles Beach, Florida.
- The Ikona Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, has been renamed Elita Hotel by its owners the Gzella Collection.
- The Marquette Hotel in Minneapolis joined Curio Collection by Hilton.
Compiled by Stephanie Ricca.