AJ Capital, Gaw partnering on new brand
Graduate Hotels, a new brand targeting university alumni and business travelers, plans to open 20 properties in the next five years, The Wall Street Journal reports. Chicago’s AJ Capital Partners and Hong Kong-based Gaw Capital Partners will invest approximately $500 million to open the new fleet of hotels near campuses across the country, including Tempe, Ariz. and Charlottesville, Va.
“These towns are seeing a renaissance," Christian Strobel, Graduate's president and a former Joie de Vivre executive, told the Journal. "They are often state capitals or cultural hubs for a state, and they attract entrepreneurial companies by offering an alternative to big cities."
On the new flag’s web site, Graduate’s backers describes its hotels as places “where smart never goes out of style.” Unlike other brands targeting the millennial crowd, the Journal reports, Graduate seeks an older, more established demographic returning to their alma maters for sporting events, reunions or nostalgic visits.
Graduate Hotels will have some company in pursuing college markets; also targeting such locales is Study Hotels, which currently has a locale near Yale in New Haven, Conn., and recently announced plans for a second near Drexel University in Philadelphia.
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