Celebrity brands meet rising demand for hotels

January 16, 2008 12:29PM

As the growing tourism market drives demand for more hotels, celebrities like actor Robert DeNiro and hip-hop artist Shawn Carter, a.k.a Jay-Z, are cashing in with plans to open luxury hotels in Manhattan. Existing hotels are revamping with renovations and attempts to elevate their brands beyond the basics. Despite the construction of an estimated 1,000 new hotel units over the past year, supply is not meeting demand. New luxury hotels will also bear the names of Giorgio Armani and Sean Penn. Jason Pomeranc, owner of the high-end Thompson Hotels, said the new luxury hotels aren’t a threat and will help lift rates for upscale rooms. Ian Schrager, meanwhile, said, “I think when people hear Jay-Z’s name, they have a certain level of expectation of the kind of music they’re going to hear. I don’t think they have a lot of expectation about what kind of hotel they’re going to get.”