Why Dual-Branded Hotel Developments are becoming Increasingly Popular


Dual-branded hotels are establishing themselves as a norm in the hotel industry. Several hotels of this kind have cropped up all across the world. As of January 2015, a study done for the 2015 ALIS conference showed that in the U.S. alone, there were 79 operational dual-branded hotels with 54 additional being under construction. According to this research, a projected 32 percent increase in dual-branded hotels, across the top three hotel brands: Marriott, IHG and Hilton.

A dual-brand hotel is a property that contains two different hotel brands, at a single location. For example, if a developer or investor was responsible for organizing a dual-branded project, they would be able to use Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express, or a Holiday Inn and Staybridge Suites concept. Often referred to as a “dual pack”, such hotels have been constructed and have operated at an extremely high efficiency rate for several years now. A couple of the more popular dual-brand hotels include the 65 storied Courtyard-Residence Inn in Central Park, NY—which is the tallest hotel in all of North America and the L.A. Live Complex which includes an 879-room JW Marriott and a 123-room Ritz Carlton.

What are some advantages of the Dual-Branded Hotel concept?

There are plenty of advantages associated with dual-branded hotels. First of all, hoteliers and developers enjoy the ability to tap into two different customer bases instead of only one. Here, hotel owners can fill up their hotel rooms by targeting different demographics, stay occasions and price points — stemming from the business traveler, to the extended stay visitor and family travelers. Each hotel brand focuses on a particular set of guests, whether that be millennials, gen-X’ers, or boomers. Additionally, each brand in a dual-branded hotel, offers different amenities but aims to consolidate many back-of-house expenses and costs, ie.) laundry, staffing, etc. Hoteliers are able to take advantage of the possibility of travelers and prospective guests experiencing new brands and what they offer, and ultimately becoming loyal-long term clients.

The potential for growth is in the ability to reach a more diverse group of travelers, such as those in need of extended-stay amenities versus others in search of a full-service hotel. Guests of a dual-branded hotel now have the ability to choose which amenities they want depending on the brands at play. For example, consolidating things like a swimming pool, fitness center, and meeting rooms allows the developer to build a nicer version of it. You essentially have two development budgets sufficing one amenity that guest of both properties can use.

Not only does a dual-brand hotel cater to a wider customer base, it also allows developers and hoteliers to save on costs as well. Generally, when you think of two hotel brands, you think of double the costs, but the reality is that there are some significant construction cost savings. You have some unique economies of scale at play. One of the great advantages of dual-branded hotels is that they are “designed to maximize resources while minimizing costs for owners and developers,” according to Ian Carter, the president of global development for Hilton Worldwide. Operational costs will be low considering that certain areas of the hotel, such as the laundry room and employee facilities, will be combined. Also, land costs will generally be lower because the footprint and site plan will consist of only one building. Additionally, from an operational standpoint, not only are construction costs decreased, but costs for staff and sales and marketing departments as well.

EquityRoots - Hotel Real Estate Investments Platform

Already in Motion

Although the dual-branded hotel seems to be a pretty normal trend in today’s booming hotel development industry, there are signs that this hotel concept has marked its spot and continuing to expand in popularity. At the moment, hotel owners and existing properties are starting to flirt with the idea of carrying three or even four flags from different hotel brands in one single location. Hilton Worldwide has already built a “three-pack” hotel in Canada which combines a Hilton, Hampton Inn and Homewood suites. Also, there are some properties out there that are starting to combine different brands from different hotel families while still maintaining each brand’s unique identity, such as White Lodging’s, Chicago River North project, which includes a Hyatt, Starwood and Marriott flag under one roof.

Your Hotel Investments:

Lastly, there are companies and tech platforms, like EquityRoots.com, that have decided to jump on board with the dual-brand hotel concept and explore the possibilities it has to offer. Currently, the crowdfunding company is scheduled to break-ground on a dual-brand hotel project in Schaumburg, Illinois. Specifically choosing two IHG products (Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express) to create a dual-brand hotel that captures 100% of IHG’s transient travel segment. Experienced developers, and crowdfunding platforms such as EquityRoots.com, have taken advantage of the dual-brand concept in order to maximize investor returns and investment profitability. Given the competitive advantages over single flagged properties, EquityRoots.com strongly believes that a dual brand hotel investment will out perform its single flagged counterparts.


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Hotel Crowdfunding vs. REIT Investments — Investing Tools for the 21st Century

Hotel Crowdfunding vs. REIT Investments — Investing Tools for the 21st Century

The ushering in of the 21st century has brought about quite a few new developments for the real estate industry. As with most industries, the real estate industry has seen numerous investment tools and methods . Two have jumped to the forefront within the real-estate industry: Crowdfunding and Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs).  These two, especially crowdfunding as it relates to hotel crowdfunding, are a couple of the alternatives to the traditional methods of investing.  Hotel crowdfunding and REITs have created quite a buzz in the investment market place and have left many wondering how to best utilize these tools for their investment or capital raising needs.

What’s so special about Crowdfunding for Hotels?

With the passing of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012 (JOBS Act), online platforms, such as EquityRoots, Inc., can now generally solicit the sale of real estate backed securities to prospective investors by registering Form D with the SEC—the Security and Exchange Commission, or qualifying exemption. When using general solicitation, all purchasers of the public offering (in this case hotel assets) must have accredited investor status. The Jobs Act has also paved way for non-accredited investors to participate.  More recently, and under newer offering types like Regulation A+, unaccredited investors can participate under certain limitations.  This opens up the possibility for online platforms to extend investment opportunities to everyone, not just accredited investors anymore.

Under these circumstances, hotels are a great asset class to crowdfund because of its existing large and loyal customer bases associated with each of the top Hotel chains such as Marriot, IHG, Hyatt and Hilton.  In most cases, commercial real estate like hotels yield investors a greater rate of return than residential real estate investments.  Hotel transactions have a greater degree of moving variables and risks, hence the typical rate of return correlates.  Equity crowdfunding investments can easily break the status quo, often seeing a rate of return above 20% when factoring 5-year holding periods and including the disposition proceeds.  The cash flow performance of hotel assets can also impress investors, especially when the development is backed by a strong reservation system and strong Brand.  Crowdfunding is not limited to equity, you can also crowdfund a mortgage or a business loan.


EquityRoots - Hotel Real Estate Investments Platform

What’s the infatuation with REIT(s)?

Real Estate Investment Trusts (REIT) didn’t start to matriculate in the investment marketplace until the 1960s—when Congress introduced this investing tool into the U.S. economy. What is a REIT? By definition, it is a corporation that owns and operates income producing real estate. More specifically, it joins the capital of several investors and investors earn a share of the income produced, yielding a 8.8% rate of return averaged over the last 10 years.

A REIT offers investment flexibility at a reasonable entry price. REIT(s) can invest in multiple asset classes such as retail, residential, healthcare, offices. and for each of these asset classes, investors can earn a share of the income produced. Many people find REIT(s) an attractive investment because of it’s liquidity, meaning you can wake up and sell it if you need the cash.  Be weary, certain REIT’s often have restrictions on when and how much you can sell.

Conclusion & Comparison

After comparing the two investment tools, it’s clear that each has their pros and cons. A REIT’s ability to earn a reasonable rate of return and the liquid nature of the investment may be a good fit for some people. But for the savvier investor that can decipher between good/bad markets and good/bad flags, they have multiple options on what they can invest into.  It is not uncommon for online investors to yield a higher rate of return through a variety of equity and debt instruments via crowdfunding, and outperform their REIT counterparts.  Real estate and hotel crowdfunding may allow people to diversify their portfolio by personal preferences that are strategically better than a giant pool of assets accumulated over time.

The same cannot be said of REIT(s).  Essentially, a REIT is a pool of multiple properties that you are investing into.  Sometimes the REIT picks good apples and sometimes it picks bad apples, and sometimes the good ones go bad over time, you’re essentially investing into the average. REIT(s) do not allow the investor to pick and choose which investment type they would like to fund, whereas crowdfunding gives control back to the investor and allows them to choose investments that may be most suitable for them, sorting by debt, equity, brand, flag, geographic market, hold period, etc.

Remember, that all investments come with risk.  Investing is inherently taking on some form of risk for a potential reward.  And although people have 24/7 internet access to crowdfunding platforms, they should consult an attorney or financial advisor prior to investing.  Crowdfunding platforms like www.equityroots.com enables its online investors to easily share due-diligence documents and investment contracts with their attorney prior to investing.  Past performance is never a guarantee of the future.


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