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Supporting small businesses by staying at boutique hotels? Turns out, they’re mostly chains

If you like to support small businesses by choosing boutique hotels, you my be surprised to learn that they are often owed by a mega-hotel chains.

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Support small business! Right?

Thanks to the Internet, finding a hotel is easier than ever before. There are so many options, often times we don’t even view every hotel on the available list; we just choose one and move on to the next item on our to-do lists. Many times business professionals opt for boutique hotels, rather than larger chain hotels, because they are often cheaper, offer a more personalized experience, and give guest a way to support small businesses, or do they?

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You my be surprised to learn that boutique hotels are often owed by a mega-hotel chain. These new boutique hotels are out to snag the business of the new generation. Many of these are aimed at the younger demographic, aged 18 to 34, who prefer an avant-garde, unique, experience to something simple and mainstream; the catch? Both types of hotels are owned by the same companies.

Moxy, Vib, they’re all chains!

The Marriott’s Moxy, Hilton’s Canopy, and Best Western’s Vib, are all aimed at the younger generation. If that’s not enough of a change, many of the big-name hotel brands are shaking up guests expectations. What was once a simple choice for some travelers: Hilton or Best Western, has now become a more complicated decision as both of these brands offer multiple types of hotels, under multiple names. The world’s 10 largest hotel chains now offer a combined 113 brands at various price points, 31 of which didn’t exist a decade ago.

And there’s no sign of this trend changing or slowing down.

Big chains “pretending they aren’t big chains”

Pauline Frommer, editorial direction for Frommer’s, told Fox Business, “The big hotel chains are in the business of pretending they aren’t big chains. They want you to think they are boutiques. This dizzying array of brand names is a good way for them to hide. The vast majority of the public is not going to keep track.”

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In fact, there are some 128,000 additional hotel rooms currently under construction in the U.S.; that’s an increase of 32% from last year. Another 306,000 rooms are reportedly somewhere in the development process. It’s no wonder many of those boutique hotels are owned by larger chains.

No wonder boutiques are owned by big brands

Some of the rooms under construction and going through development don’t even have brands just yet. Because hotel companies don’t typically build or own properties, rather they collect management, or franchise fees, developers get to pick from an array of chains and those chains are fiercely competitive. It’s no wonder many of those boutique hotels are owned by larger chains.

Despite hotel chains’ desire to cater to younger generations, while offering a wider range of options, large hotel chains are still profiting, big time. What do you think; do boutique hotels offer a unique experience that the big chains cannot, or is this just another way for big companies to look diversified without really offering anything new?

#BoutiqueBrands

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Jennifer Walpole is a Senior Staff Writer at The American Genius and holds a Master's degree in English from the University of Oklahoma. She is a science fiction fanatic and enjoys writing way more than she should. She dreams of being a screenwriter and seeing her work on the big screen in Hollywood one day.

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  1. Pingback: Marriott communal spaces add a dash of Euro to one of their brands - The American Genius

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