Trend: Big chain wants more boutique hotels

Hyatt heir aims at $1 billion in revenue for boutique business by 2017

John Pritzker, 58-year-old son of the late billionaire founder of the Hyatt Hotels chain, has been spending a great deal of his time building his own “collection” of boutique hotels, each with a distinct personality. He currently has 43 of them. Now he wants his “closely held” Commune Hotels and Resorts to reach $1 billion in revenue by 2017, from $380 million in 2011, using acquisitions and mergers with small chains (such as Joie de Vivre Hospitality and, most recently, Thompson Hotels). He says business travellers do not always want the predictable, practical, affordable and unmemorable Hyatts.
“Hyatt lost its appeal because it was too big a machine,” he explains. “It’s easy to systematize economies of scale, but you slowly lose who you are. I like walking into a smaller hotel where the desk clerk recognizes me.”
Bloomberg Businessweek
[pictured: 60 Thompson]