Tag Archives: hilton

Hilton Asks Us About their New TRU Brand

Hilton recently interviewed us for input on their new TRU brand. Springwood has been one of the pioneers of this brand, so that wasn’t surprising. Our answers may someday appear in some Hilton promotional material, but YOU can see all of them below. Enjoy!

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  1. What have been the biggest challenges in the midscale segment and how do you think Tru by Hilton addresses them?

Inconsistency has plagued this segment for decades. Guests are forced to play “reservation roulette” when they book a mid-priced room, and that simply isn’t fair. Years ago we managed a beautiful Comfort Inn in our hometown, but business travelers were reluctant to book there due to in consistency of the brand nationwide. We’ve seen no such hesitancy with TRU.

  1. Why did you decide to invest in Tru by Hilton?

There were many corporate room nights that we were leaving to other brands, because their budgets didn’t permit them to pay the minimum room rates at our hotels. With the TRU brand, we can compete for – and win – that business. By doing so, we’ll build greater corporate-booking loyalty to our local team and properties.

  1. What motivated you to bring a Tru by Hilton to your city?

See #2. The other reason is that quality hotel development sites are difficult to obtain. Both of our TRU’s are developed on smaller sites that others tried to develop, but they could not lay out a conventional select-service hotel with adequate room count to achieve the necessary return on investment. TRU is so compact that we were able to successfully develop both sites and make the numbers work, without shrinking the number of guest rooms. TRU is a godsend for hotel developers who may have passed over smaller sites in healthy markets. Now those sites can make sense.

  1. What are you most looking forward to for the Grand Opening of your property?

Too late for that. The cake was really good.

  1. Insight from our current owners helped mold Tru by Hilton into a brand that was “engineered by hotel owners.” Keeping this in mind, what has it been like to do business with Hilton?

We are blessed to participate in the Owners’ Councils for several Hilton brands, and we know that Hilton appreciates and acts upon “bottom-up” feedback. We’ve seen it first-hand. We know, for instance, that the TRU concept initially had no king-sized beds. Owners spoke up, and before the first TRU ever broke ground, there were king beds in TRU’s. There are numerous examples of this bottom-up design with TRU. The same feedback system works for Hilton’s other brands, as well.

  1. What has been your experience with Tru by Hilton’s turnkey model?

There have been several teething issues, and Hilton is working to solve problems as they crop up. We suppose this is normal for a new brand; we’ve just never been bleeding-edge developers before.

  1. Tru by Hilton has been identified as a brand with the fastest-growing pipeline in industry history. Why do you think that is?

See #2 and #8.

  1. Where would you say Tru by Hilton fits in your portfolio? What does it add?

See #2. The surprise has been the enthusiastic response to the brand by millennial travelers. The input we receive from them is “over the top.” One seasoned millennial traveler we spoke with compared our TRU to an Aloft, which we personally never expected to hear, and he was dead serious. Another was so excited about the TRU common spaces that he told us, “I am going to look for a TRU wherever I travel.” We do not ever recall this strong a positive response to a new hotel brand, and initial guest response to Home2 Suites was very strong.

  1. After speaking with guests and hotel owners, it’s clear travelers in the midscale segment want consistency. Given this feedback, why do you think Tru by Hilton’s all new-build hotel model will be appealing to owners and guests?

Hilton knows how to run a consistent brand, and they will be “on their game” with TRU because the stakes are enormous. We don’t expect much slack from Hilton on quality – for us or for anyone else. That’s just the way it has to be for the brand to succeed.

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Springwood Team Honored by Multiple Hotel Brands

Three-quarters of all of Springwood Hospitality’s teams have recently been honored with some of the highest awards their brands can bestow!

Springwood’s Homewood Suites by Hilton® York was named Hilton’s #1 Most Improved Extended-Stay Property in the world for 2012 at the annual Homewood Suites by Hilton® annual conference, which was held this month in Orlando, FL.  This property took yet another first-place honor at the conference when Sales Director Melissa Leonard was honored with the Director of Sales of the Year award for the entire Homewood Suites by Hilton® chain.

Springwood’s Homewood Suites by Hilton® York team was also recognized at the conference with the Connie Award (named for founder Conrad Hilton), for ranking in the top ten per cent of all Homewood Suites by Hilton® properties worldwide on a variety of performance measurements.

The staff at Springwood’s Country Inn & Suites, Hershey at the Park was recognized with the President’s Award at the Carlson-Rezidor annual conference in Miami earlier this month. This the highest honor awarded by Carlson-Rezidor Hotels among all of its hotel brands.  The award represents overall performance, on a variety of performance measurements, in the top 10% of all Carlson-Rezidor hotels worldwide.  The Carlson-Rezidor family of brands includes Country Inns & Suites and Radisson, among others.  This year marks the second year in a row that this property has been honored with the Carlson-Rezidor President’s Award at the conference.

The staff at Springwood’s Comfort Inn & Suites, York has earned Choice Hotels’ Gold Award for achieving overall performance in the top 10% of all Comfort Inn and Comfort Suites properties worldwide.  This award will be presented at the upcoming Choice Hotels annual conference.  This marks the second year in a row that the team has earned Choice Hotels’ Gold Award for its performance.

The only Springwood hotel not to take home top honors this year will be the Holiday Inn Express & Suites, York, because that hotel was undergoing a $2 million renovation/upgrade in the fourth quarter of 2012.  The construction took the property out of the running for the brand’s top awards.  The renovations and upgrades will be complete with construction of the new pool in April.

Springwood Hospitality is an entrepreneurial, hotel development and management company where the “Caring, Competent, Committed” company culture helps it achieve a high level of success.   Springwood will open its new Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott®, Hershey Chocolate Avenue on April 4th.  It will also soon begin construction on a new Hampton Inn & Suites on Queen Street @ I-83 in York, PA; and it is working on the development of a new luxury, extended-stay hotel on Buckeystown Pike in Frederick, MD.  Both of those hotels are expected to open for guests in 2014.

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U.S. hotel revenue gains expected in 2013

Reprinted from an article by Danny King today in Travel Weekly:

Steady growth in U.S. hotel demand won’t be tapering off soon, according to reports released Monday by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and Smith Travel Research (STR).

Growth will keep a steady pace through next year predominantly on room-rate increases, according to PWC.

Revenue per available room for 2013 will rise 5.6% in 2013 on a 4.8% increase in room rates, PwC said. Occupancy will hit 61.7%, which would mark four straight years of occupancy increases from a 54.6% rate in 2009.

As for 2012, PwC maintained its forecast for 6.5% RevPAR growth. U.S. RevPAR increased 8.2% last year.

Such forecasts were echoed, albeit cautiously, by hotel leaders speaking at the New York University International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference in New York on Monday morning.

“Performance still looks really good, but we’re worried about Europe, and we’re increasingly worried about domestic politics,” said Marriott International CEO Arne Sorenson on a conference panel. “Let’s hope that, like last year, business continues to perform strong.”

Dave Hogg – “Good news!”

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U. S. Business Travel to Grow 5% in 2011

According to a recent study conducted by the National Business Travel Association and reported by Bloomberg, business travel spending should grow 5% in 2011.  They credit both a growing economy and stronger corporate profits.

Business travel in 2010 grew 2.3% in 2010 according to NBTA estimates.  We saw this impact anecdotally in our hotels that cater to business travelers, who started showing up again in stronger numbers in 2010.  This factor helped fuel the nearly 16% revenue increase in 2010 at our Homewood Suites by Hilton (a great brand, by the way).

NTBA points out that international business travel rose a whopping 16.9% in 2010, fueled by export-driven commerce.  That’s a huge gain, and it is an actual benefit of the weaker dollar.  Let’s hope that the federal government someday sees the wisdom of promoting this valuable export as a way to grow the economy and ease our trade deficit.

I predict that NTBA is right about the coming 2011 increase in business travel.  As its spokesman said in the article, “Companies are once again recognizing the value of face-to-face meetings … to build relationships.”

At Springwood, we build our business on relationships, because we believe that relationships drive not just our business, but all business.  There is no better way to build them than face-to-face!

Dave Hogg

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