HYATT AIMS AMERISUITES AT GEN X

Hyatt Corp. has big plans for the AmeriSuites brand it purchased last month from The Blackstone Group for a reported $600 million-plus. Once it integrates the 143-unit, 18,000-room system into the newly formed Global Hyatt organization, the company intends to rejuvenate and reposition the all-suites brand to focus on the Gen X, 15-to-40-year-old traveler.

“No other hotel brands are talking to this segment of the market, so we see a lot of opportunity,” says Jim Abrahamson, the former Baymont and Hilton executive that Hyatt tapped to head up the AmeriSuites organization. (Mike Leven, founder and CEO of Hyatt subsidiary US Franchise Systems, will oversee the brand's franchise growth.) “AmeriSuites will serve a market that's complementary to Hyatt and will be an incubator for future Hyatt customers.”

Hyatt says it will spend $150 million to renovate AmeriSuites that need it and to grow the brand. In the next few months, AmeriSuites will be integrated into Global Hyatt's res system, sales organization and Gold Passport frequency program. Once the chain receives “the Hyatt touch,” it will be rebranded with a name that probably marries the AmeriSuites name to the Hyatt identity.

Hyatt's purchase of AmeriSuites provides the company with the missing link to become a true multi-segment hotel organization and perhaps be more attractive to Wall Street if it decides to go public. The company's brand lineup now encompasses luxury (Park Hyatt), upscale (Hyatt), mid-scale (AmeriSuites), extended stay (Hawthorn Suites), economy (Microtel) and budget (America's Best Inns & Suites).

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