The Real Deal Miami

Competition hotter in hotel brand-conversion market

Marriott positions Delta Hotels and Resorts to compete head-on with DoubleTree by Hilton

October 25, 2015 02:00PM

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The DoubleTree brand faces competition from Delta Hotels and Resorts.

The DoubleTree brand faces new rival in Delta Hotels and Resorts.

Two leading hotel operators are set to compete harder to affiliate with hotel owners who want a competitive brand without costly property-upgrade requirements.

DoubleTree by Hilton, part of Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc., has been one of the fastest-expanding hotel bands.

Lodging industry data source STR Inc. reported that DoubleTree’s room count has doubled to almost 108,000 since 2007.

DoubleTree has expanded almost exclusively by getting hotel owners to adopt its brand and drop such flags as Marriot and Sheraton.

Compared to other hotel brands, DoubleTree  touts lower costs and more flexibility with respect to property upgrades to remain in the brand system.

But now Marriot International Inc. is preparing to compete harder in the hotel brand-conversion market through a Canadian acquisition.

Marriott paid $135 million in April to acquire a  Delta Hotels and Resorts, which has 37 hotels in Canada, and is positioning Delta as a conversion brand in the United States.

Last month, Delta affiliated with its first U.S. property, a hotel in Orlando whose owners had planned to operate  under the Crowne Plaza brand, part of InterContinental Hotels Group PLC.

Noah Silverman, Marriott’s chief development officer for full-service hotels in North America, told the Wall Street Journal that Delta is “a formidable competitor to DoubleTree. Part of DoubleTree’s success we attribute to Marriott not having had a competing brand.” [Wall Street Journal] — Mike Seemuth