Red Lion Hotels Corporation is suing Hard Rock Café International, alleging that Reverb by Hard Rock, Hard Rock’s new Millennial-focused hotel brand, copied plans for its own Millennial-focused Hotel RL brand.
“While imitation is the sincerest form of flattery…we are not appreciative of Hard Rock’s wholesale infringement of our trade dress with The Gettys Group’s help,” Greg Mount, RLH Corp.’s president and chief executive, told The Spokesman-Review. Red Lion is asking for an injunction against Hard Rock, was well as damages and profits from the Reverb chain.
In a written statement Hard Rock International has that RLH Corp.’s claims are without merit, and that the company will vigorously defend itself.
“Hard Rock has more than 46 years of experience and we are the authority in providing premium, lifestyle offerings and authentic music experiences to guests around the world,” the company said.
According to Boutique Design, Hard Rock announced plans for Reverb by Hard Rock at this year’s NYU International Hospitality and Industry Investment Conference. Signature brand elements will include an entry with digital signage and an audio/video wall; check-in pods; a “Constant Grind” venue that functions as a barista café by day and a bar by night; stepped an powered lounge seating; an indoor/outdoor live entertainment zone; and modular furniture and bedding in guestrooms. In addition to Milliennials, the brand will also focus on families, travelers with pets and small groups.
Red Lion debuted Hotel RL back in 2014, with a focus on gourmet coffee, healthy food options, live music and local accents.
The lawsuit is part of major hotel companies’ growing lineup of hotel brands aimed at Millennial travelers. Best Western International has launched the Vib and Glo brands in secondary and suburban markets, as well as submarkets of major gateway cities. Marriott International has Moxy Hotels, which made its debut in Milan in September 2014. InterContinental Hotels Group has Even Hotels, a brand that focuses on wellness offerings, and Hilton has two brands: Canopy by Hilton and Curio, A Collection by Hilton.