Hotelier Ian Schrager on Thursday confirmed he has sold his stake in Gramercy Park Hotel and launched a new hotel company, Schrager Hotels. Schrager said that his goal moving forward was to "upset the status quo and reinvent the hotel experience" with his new projects.
Those new projects will include the launch of two hotel brands: one luxury lifestyle brand and one less expensive line. The first hotel Schrager plans to open under one of these brand identities is a new take on famed Chicago hotel The Ambassador East. The retooled Ambassador East is slated to open in the Windy City in September 2011.
In the long term, Schrager's new brands will be rolled out in "international gateway" cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Miami, London, Paris, Barcelona, Istanbul, Mexico City and Rio de Janeiro, among others.
Regarding the sale of his interests in New York's Gramercy Park Hotel, Schrager considered it a smart move.
"It was a very good financial transaction for me," Schrager said. "I received an offer that was just too good to refuse. However, it is a bittersweet moment as well. I put 110% into that hotel as I do with all of my projects, but it was time to move on and seek new challenges."