There were a couple of interesting tidbits yesterday about one of my favorite hotel chains, Hyatt.
First, they announced a new brand coming to the Hyatt family. Centric is to debut this year with properties in both the US and abroad.
As others have noted, creating a new lifestyle brand seems a bit out of sorts considering the brands Hyatt already has in their portfolio. I’m guessing that market research showed them there was a segment that wasn’t addressed.
On the flip side, it may be that there’s a larger group of folks out there that aren’t looking to align with a chain specifically but are looking for innovation from their next hotel.
While I think there’s absolutely a cost to developing and maintaining a new brand, it’s certainly cheaper than trying to rebrand existing properties. In this case, it seems they’re doing a bit of both. I was reading One Mile At a Time’s thoughts on the Centric brand, where he noted that some of the concept pictures looked familiar. As soon as he mentioned the Hyatt Herald Square, I remembered that picture from my visit.
That being said, there are some pictures that do look conceptual, so I’m hoping that there are a few newbies slated. Some of the cities mentioned could definitely use more Hyatts.
On a smaller note, Hyatt also announced the development of their first Andaz hotel in Canada, to open in Ottawa next year. Vancouver (and, to a lesser degree, Toronto) strike me as more of a natural fit than Ottawa. But, there hasn’t been a ton of Hyatt development planned for North of the body, so this is another good pin for the map.
I would have liked to see Hyatt take over the Delta hotels brand in Canada versus Marriott, but those are the breaks. I stayed at a very nice Delta Pinnacle in Vancouver a long time ago that ultimately got re-branded as a Marriott. It felt a lot more like a Hyatt Olive 8 type property than a Marriott.
This small announcement reminds me of a day a few years ago during one of the StarMegaDO events that culminated in Denver. Jeff Zidell, Senior Vice President of Hyatt Gold Passport, was addressing the audience about a bunch of upcoming Hyatt properties. He was asked a question early on from a Canadian attendee (Ryan, pretty sure that was you) if there were more Hyatt properties coming to Canada anytime soon. The unfortunate answer was no, but the result of that was an inside joke about Hyatt in Canada, where Jeff started to get this same question over and over from random people in the audience.
The answer is now yes, in a small way.
I’ll be interested to see Centric come off the drawing board and eager to stay at the first new hotel that opens under that flag.
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