CHICAGO—Red Roof has launched the company’s first soft brand in its 44-year history—The Red Collection. The St. Clair Hotel in Downtown Chicago will become the soft brand’s first property in 2018. The Red Collection is a portfolio of upscale economy to midscale hotels that are hyper-local, drawing inspiration from the local vibe and culture of the city centers in which they are located. The company has said that it is considering New York, Las Vegas, Charlotte, and Austin as locations for new properties in The Red Collection.
According to Red Roof’s consumer research, today’s upscale economy travelers are not looking for hotels that are identified as “trendy” or “hip”—which they equate with expensive and fleeting. Instead, travelers are looking for modern, accessible, and affordable properties with enhanced amenities in the hearts of cities they love near the things they love to do, according to the company’s research.
“There is already core equity in Red Roof,” says Andrew Alexander, Red Roof president. “Building on our strong brand base, this is a perfect time to grow our portfolio with our first soft brand, The Red Collection. In today’s environment, soft brands allow companies to enter new channels, expand business models, and meet specific demands of the new traveler. The Red Collection will give our existing guests unique, more upscale value options while enticing new guests to experience our brand in a new way in the hearts of cities they love.”
Red Roof’s research found that the majority of guests in the upscale economy segment are willing to pay between an extra $10 and $50 per stay for enhanced amenities and loyalty incentives. Additionally, the top three drivers of hotel consideration were affordable rates, proximity to local activities and attractions, and free WiFi. Consumers even cared more about those attributes than free breakfast. The company says that it designed The Red Collection and the soft brand’s first property, The St. Clair Hotel, to meet those needs.
“Our research was eye-opening and instructional,” notes Marina MacDonald, chief marketing officer at Red Roof. “Listening to guest feedback and translating those thoughts, ideas and expression into real world action is already a hallmark of Red Roof. We did the same with this research; it allowed us to parlay traveler responses into the introduction of The Red Collection. We have created a new city center hotel experience, one that is notably different from the traditional Red Roof location but still offers the value that consumers demand.”
Phil Hugh, chief development officer at Red Roof, adds, “The Red Collection gives existing and new franchisees an opportunity to diversify and invest in unique city hotels with the support of a strong, respected brand and management team. Our new soft brand provides alternative business opportunities and additional avenues of growth in high demand locations.”
Tentatively scheduled to open in 2018 at the corner of St. Clair and Ontario, The St. Clair Hotel aims to offer an authentic, hyper local experience in Chicago. The lobby will have plush high tops, outlets for multiple devices, and network connectivity while every room has silky, upgraded bedding, spa-inspired bathrooms with multi-flow showerheads, and complimentary Seattle’s Best Coffee. A fine dining restaurant is planned to open in the lobby in the first quarter of 2018. The new hotel will also have other Red Roof initiatives, including the company’s free and verified WiFi and a pet-friendly policy at no additional cost for loyalty RediCard members.