Carlson Rezidor Together Makes Sense
2/16/2012 | Hotel Ruminating
I had the opportunity to travel to Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island in the Bahamas this week (I know, tough gig, huh?) for the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group's annual conference. It was the first conference since the two companies made a joint announcement that after years of working closely, they will go to market as one. Hence, the name change.
Obviously, this was a huge topic during the conference and both Thorsten Kirschke, president of the Americas for Carlson, and Kurt Ritter, CEO of Rezidor, took the stage of the general session together to address the development to franchisees and associates of the group. As I reported following an interview with Kirschke back in January following the announcement, the two executives reiterated that the move was something that wasn't unexpected and will eventually prove beneficial for the future.
"When you have two companies that have worked together for a decade and a half (17 years to be exact) it makes sense," Ritter said. "Many people think we should have done it years ago."
But they've finally done it and in terms of number of rooms, the combined group moves into the top 10 of worldwide hotel companies.
"The business has become so global, we cannot afford to not do this," Ritter continued.
That's true. Most large hotel companies consider themselves global companies rather than simply an American company operating in Europe and Asia, or a European company operating in America.
Carlson and Rezidor separately have been powerful enough. Together, they will probably make people take more notice. Already their work together has resulted in the Radisson Blu brand that became highly successful in Europe and Asia, but is now making noise in the U.S. with a high-profile opening of the Radisson Blu Aqua in Chicago and a soon-to-come property at the Mall of America in Carlson's hometown of Minneapolis, Minn.
But both companies have expertise in various markets, which has made their partnership over the years highly fruitful. Now, on the market as one, those areas of expertise promise to prove even more beneficial, especially when it comes to a rapidly developing pipeline for the group in emerging markets such as India, China, Africa and South America, places where the Rezidor name is more known that Carlson. The reverse holds true as far as a Rezidor presence in North America.
"It is important that we work together to leverage our core competentcies," Kirschke said. "Combined, we have a wealth of knowledge."
In 2012, the initial goals of the combined group are to concentrate on branding and revenue generation. "That's where the rubber hits the road," Kirschke said.
Kirschke also stressed that this move does not mean that they have become one company. They are simply going to market together under one brand. Rezidor remains a separate company traded on the Stockholm Stock Exchange. The group will be run by a joint committee consisting of executive for both companies.
Even though they are quite familiar with each other already, Carlson Rezidor hotel group is heading down a new road together, one with the promise of a stronger brand worldwide.
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