LODGING Today

Here's a sampling from Lodging Hospitality's blog, The Front Desk. Check it out at www.LHonline.com/blog

Fashionista brand extension
July 14, Carlo Wolff

What Hilton Hotel Corp. executives think of the latest Hilton venture is a matter of conjecture. What they will do if hotels planned by Nicole Olivia Hilton take off is a matter of even hotter speculation. What's a company to do if the competition has the money and owns the name? By birth, no less?

Nicky Hilton is the younger sister of perpetual starlet Paris Hilton. Nicky is planning a “Nicky O” hotel for Miami that will feature a 5,000-square-foot penthouse suite designed by Roberto Cavalli. The South Beach “Nicky O, a Nicky Hilton Hotel” is the fruit of a licensing arrangement with condo-hotel developer Robert Falor, the Falor Companies president converting the Breakwater and Edison hotels into the celebrity-branded complex.

Nicky also plans a “Nicky O” with Falor in Chicago, Falor's home base. She has said she hopes to launch 10 hotels across the country in conjunction with Falor. That could stiff any plans Hilton Hotel Corp. has to launch a competitor to, say, W.

The Miami complex will rent suites for $300 to $5,000 a night. Miami's Zilbert Realty Group is handling sales and marketing for 94 condo suites selling for a touch below $500,000 to $7 million-plus.

Religious right invades the industry
July 16, Ed Watkins

Here is some hypocrisy from the religious right: A group led by James Dobson's Focus on the Family is opposing the sale of the Atlanta Braves baseball team to Liberty Media. Calling Liberty Chairman John Malone a “white-collar pornographer,” the group doesn't like the fact that Liberty's On Command division sells adult movies in hotel rooms.

By logical extension, then, this group of self-styled do-gooders (it also includes the Concerned Women for America and the Georgia Family Council) should never consider booking a meeting or even a guestroom in just about any chain hotel in the U.S. since nearly every one (except for Omni Hotels) has an adult option on their pay-for-view TV systems.

Yet last fall, Focus on the Family held a conference for physicians at its Colorado Springs headquarters. While the sessions were held on the organization's campus, the conference brochure recommended a number of hotels, mostly chain properties that presumably offer in-room movies, some of which are adult-oriented.

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