Onsite: Marriott and Schrager to Launch Boutique Brand

NEW YORK-Bill Marriott, chairman and CEO of Marriott International, and Ian Schrager, who is credited with inventing the boutique hotel concept, announced a new partnership to create an as-yet-unnamed boutique hotel brand. The pair announced that the new brand has the potential to be named within a matter of weeks and will eventually consist of 100 or more "unique" properties. Marriott said that Schrager would contribute original "conception, design and imagination to the game," and that the brand will be "an excellent complement to the Marriott portfolio of brands," which now includes every segment but boutique properties, "a very important, fast-growing segment," according to Marriott. Schrager will spearhead the concept, design, marketing, branding and food and beverage, while Marriott will oversee the development process, as well as operate and manage the completed hotels. While the hotels, each owned by a third party, will initially be located in gateway cities such as New York, Los Angeles, London, Paris, Berlin, Madrid, Rome, Beijing and Tokyo, Schrager said the brand would not be limited to "the usual suspects." The duo also announced that each hotel would likely have a residential component to complement the 150 to 200 hotel rooms. Site scouting already has begun for the new brand, which will include new construction, conversions and large-scale renovations. Marriott and Schrager said they expect to have at least five firm development deals signed under the new brand by the end of the year and reach their target of 100 hotels within a decade.

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