HB ON THE SCENE: Radisson Refresh is a Cornerstone of Radisson Hotel Group’s New Strategy

ORLANDO, FL—Radisson Hotel Group held its first day of sessions for the 2018 Americas Business Conference at the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel here, marking the first time the company has held the event since rebranding from Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group.

“Our vision, our goals, our new initiatives for the Americas, we’re launching them here today,” said Ken Greene, president, Americas, Radisson Hotel Group, noting that the company has a new motto: Every moment matters.

“The Radisson Hotel Group is more than a new name; it’s a movement that creates extraordinary synergies across all areas of our business: It better aligns our global portfolio; it refreshes the value we bring to market; and it meets the changing needs of the growing hospitality and travel industries,” he said. “It’s a dynamic partnership between our company, our owners and our guests.”

New designs are part of Radisson Hotel Group's brand rejuvenation.

New designs are part of Radisson Hotel Group’s brand rejuvenation.

“This is a defining moment for the Radisson Hotel Group,” added John Kidd, CEO/COO, Radisson Hospitality Inc. “Our vision is to be one of the top three hotel companies in the world, and the company of choice for guests, owners and talent.”

The company has a five-year plan to double its growth. “We’ll focus exponentially on increasing our rooms and driving revenue to our properties,” Greene said.

Radisson Hotel Group will focus on five brands in the Americas: Country Inn & Suites, Park Inn, Radisson Red, Radisson Blu and Radisson. “Country Inn & Suites by Radisson is our fastest growing brand, and it’s expected to double in the next five years,” Greene said. “In order to achieve this, we need to accelerate the implementation of the Gen4 prototype by our existing properties as soon as possible.

“Park Inn by Radisson already has this wonderful foothold in the global marketplace,” he continued. “We’re going to leverage that presence to further develop the brand in the Americas. We’re going to introduce a brand new prototype.”

Greene noted that Radisson Red is attracting developers, with a new product definition and logo, and a great cost per key. Turning to Radisson Blu, he said, “We’ve got more than 300 properties outside the Americas, all which dominate the segment. Growing Radisson Blu in gateway cities is critical to all of our success. As we add these billboard properties, the image of Radisson Hotel Group is strengthened and elevates all of our brands.”

One of the areas of focus for the company will be refreshing the Radisson brand in the Americas. “Radisson has a strong legacy and recognition in the market, and that’s what we intend to build upon as we work to refresh, revitalize and rebuild this brand,” said Aly El-Bassuni, SVP, franchise operations, Americas, Radisson Hotel Group. It’s our most strategic brand. It’s where we began, and it is now our namesake.”

He noted that there are four key points to the Radisson business plan: refreshing the brand and portfolio; securing a clear position in the marketplace; enhancing global consistency across the chain; and laying a foundation for future growth.

During the conference, the company revealed new model room designs for the brand, as well as a new tagline (“Simply Delightful”), updated logo, service icon, color palette and overall brand experience that will affect more than 160 Radisson hotels currently in operation and under development. At the heart of the new Radisson brand is natural balance and harmony of the Scandinavian way of life, according to the company. The new design aesthetic focuses on streamlined yet comfortable natural designs that are accessible for all and encourage a balanced environment.

To help support the brand’s franchisees, a loan program will be available to help those qualifying to upgrade their hotel to the updated design.

“We need to elevate the quality of Radisson,” Greene said. “We have to do this to ensure we have a consistent Radisson guest experience.” By Q3 of this year, some 10-15% or Radisson hotels will be asked to leave the system.

The company has already begun to see development traction in the U.S. with its announcement of a signing for a 320-room new-build Radisson hotel in Midtown of New York City with developer McSam Hotel Group.

Also announced at the conference was the signing of the Radisson Blu Anaheim. The new-build hotel by developer Walter Bowen of BPM Real Estate Group of Portland, OR, is expected to be open by Summer 2020 with 326 guestrooms and will be the tallest hotel in Anaheim at 12 stories.