Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group announced two new global hotel brands, as well as positive 2013 results that included a 43 percent year-over-year increase in overall signings and a system-wide revenue increase of 4 percent to $7.5 billion. Company executives shared the good news with approximately 600 attendees at the company’s annual business conference for full-service brands, held Feb. 18-21 at the Radisson Blu Mall of America in Minneapolis.
“We have good momentum on all fronts or on all cylinders as they say, both addressing the way we have come to turn around the general positioning of our brands and the extension of the same into a much more competitive landscape, but also how we not just look into the future but provide our partners around the world with valuable tools, techniques, and teams to really be successful in fighting the current challenges of day-to-day business,” said Thorsten Kirschke, president of the Americas for Carlson Rezidor.
The launch of Radisson Red and Quorvus Collection will fill gaps in Carlson Rezidor’s portfolio of brands, which includes Radisson Blu, Radisson, Park Plaza, Park Inn, and Country Inns and Suites. Radisson Red is an upscale, select-service concept that will launch simultaneously in 2015 in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia Pacific. The brand will be a mix of new builds and conversions, depending on location, said Gordon McKinnon, Carlson Rezidor’s chief branding officer. In the United States, the hotels will most likely be new construction.
Quorvus Collection, a soft brand for independent luxury hotels, is expected to announce its first members in the second quarter of 2014. “There are a number of independents out there who are looking to affiliate with a system without affiliating with a brand and keep their own independence and own persona,” McKinnon said. “That’s really the thinking behind it.”
The brands are inspired by Carlson Rezidor’s new Vision 20/20 growth strategy, which aspires to elevate the guest experience with innovations in technology, guest service, and beyond. According to President and CEO Trudy Rautio, the strategy will accelerate the company’s progress toward achieving its goal of 1,5000 hotels in operation and under development.
In its long-range planning, Kirschke said the company foresees adding 20,000 rooms by 2018. “You add that to our existing portfolio of 73,000 in the Americas, and you get the flavor of it,” he said. “It’s a recipe approaching the 100,000 rooms threshold. By 2020, we should have broken through that ceiling comfortably.”
Meanwhile, Radisson’s major property improvement, renovation, and investment strategy, as well as overall brand positioning for hotels in the United States and Canada, is nearing completion with 75 percent of hotels renovated since 2010 and the remaining 25 percent on track for completion by the end of the year. In terms of what’s in store for revenue growth in 2014, Kirschke projected that completion of the Radisson refresh will help drive Carlson Rezidor beyond a 4 to 6 percent increase. “I think we’re comfortable that the core of the Radisson brand will take that, plus a premium for the renovations and repositioning, home for the next year.”