The New York University International Hospitality Investment Conference coincided with the 100-day marker for Carlson Hotels’ Ambition 2015 strategy, announced earlier this year.
Click here to read "Carlson commits more than $1 billion to Radisson growth"
“A lot has been going on, and it’s all been very positive,” said Hubert Joly, president and CEO of the Minneapolis-based company.
A key element of the brand’s investment in the Radisson brand revolves around Radisson Blu, the concept Carlson is using to signify the four-star properties in its portfolio worldwide. Until recently, Radisson Blu was exclusive to Europe and Asia.
The brand recently named its first Radisson Blu plans for the United States, as part of Chicago’s Aqua mixed-use development.
Click here to read "Carlson premiers Radisson Blu in U.S."
Joly said the hotel will occupy 18 floors of the building, which originally was set to house another hotel that couldn’t complete its financing. That’s when Carlson stepped in. The hotel is set to open in the second half of 2011.
The company converted its St. Martin Radisson into a Radisson Blu and has plans to open the first Radisson Blu in the Philippines in September.
Joly said the response to the Radisson repositioning has been positive. “Fifty percent of Radisson franchisees in North America have committed to the product improvement plan,” Joly said. “That confirms the warm response.”
So far in 2010, 40 Carlson properties have opened worldwide and 37 have signed agreements.
Joly said the development pipeline in emerging markets is vibrant.
Other big news for Carlson was the brand’s recent acquisition of a majority share in Brussels-based partner company The Rezidor Group.
Click here to read "Carlson becomes majority shareholder of Rezidor"
“This is symbolic, it technically doesn’t change anything,” Joly said, when asked if this move meant a complete acquisition was imminent. “It builds our global structure further.”
“As we make Radisson a more consistent brand internationally, it will benefit Rezidor very much,” Joly said.