Millennials are driving innovation in Hilton’s hotel portfolio. They’ve already overtaken Baby Boomers as the single biggest driver of hotel demand worldwide. FYI individuals born between 1982 and 2004 are considered to be Millennials; these folks are currently aged 13 to 35. They view the world differently.
Their preoccupation with smartphones leads them to put a premium on having fun and gathering with other real humans. As a bonus, having fun with humans makes a good backdrop for selfies. The philosophical shift from the Boomers’ “collecting things” mindset to the Millennials’ “collecting experiences” quest has been very good for the hotel industry. Experiences require travel, and this generation is travelling a lot more than their parents did. Despite the explosion in AirBNB bookings, the hotel industry is quite healthy, thank you.
Hilton is a market leader who has thoroughly researched this phenomenon and created two entirely new hotel brands designed to delight Millennials. Their Home2 Suites brand burst on the scene in 2009 (oops) and is now one of the fastest-growing brands in history. TRU by Hilton is their newest foray into Millennial segmentation. It’s a complete re-think of what a Millennial would like in a hotel, and it is on track to become THE fastest growing brand in the history of hotels. Both brands will disrupt the hotel market.
We’re opening the third TRU by Hilton in the world today, June 30, 2017. One Millennial who viewed these photos told me, “Wow, a Foosball table! I want to stay at a TRU.” That was easy. Some will have pool tables or ping pong tables – we opted for Foosball in our TRU’s. The lobby is designed as THE gathering place for food, for play, for working, or just for hanging out.
The rooms are more compact, but that’s simply because they’ve done away with the traditional big dresser and big soft chair. They’re replaced by a narrower wooden shelf (with wire drawers below) where the 55″ TV is placed, and a comfortable task chair with swinging arm to hold a tablet or a microwave meal. Both are smaller than what they’ve replaced, and that excess space has been squeezed out of the room. There’s no loss of walking space, and no loss of functionality. Genius.
Maybe best of all is the room rates. TRU is positioned in the market below a Hampton Inn & Suites, so guest stays at a TRU will cost less. Yes, it will create problems for LaQuinta, Comfort Inn, Wingate, and others. It will be fun to watch this brand soar.