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Heroes and Mavericks

(June 2017) posted on Fri Jun 16, 2017

Boutique Design’s 2017 Up-and-Coming Hoteliers are making their marks with niche hotel concepts that sell to Main Street and Wall Street.

By Mary Scoviak and Oriana Lerner

click an image below to view slideshow

Three years ago, Boutique Design created its Up-and-Coming Hoteliers award to honor the company leaders who will become household names as this generation’s change-makers. Ian Schrager and Bill Kimpton may have taught the industry that cookie cutter design and operations were no longer relevant to the traveling public.

But shaking up the status quo has now moved far beyond how an individual hotel looks or whether it has a communal work/dining table in its public spaces. Now, the real vision is focused on elevator-pitch strategies that clearly differentiate hotel groups from the pack.

Detroit Foundation Hotel | Aparium Hotel Group
Detroit Foundation Hotel. Photo: Courtesy of Aparium Hotel Group

As this year’s honorees prove, despite an endless stream of brand roll-outs, the industry still has a lot of unbridged gaps. But it takes some innovative thinking to find them and execute on the upside.

Robert Blood capitalized on what he saw as the potential for bringing a revamped approach to the intimacy of bed and breakfasts to travelers weary of high tech/no touch with the launch of Lark Hotels. Cachet Hospitality Group’s Alexander Mirza is all about technology, both in turning to tech startups as his operational business models and using research to curate and deliver what guests care about most. MOXY’s Vicki Poulos had to shelve conventional wisdom about big brands not getting “lifestyle,” and work from scratch to build a brand that would convince prospective owners and guests that Marriott could roll out a unique, young and “fun” brand experience. Mario M. Tricoci and Kevin Robinson were well ahead of the curve in seeing that secondary markets were ripe for lifestyle hotel concepts with no major flag and a strong local accent. They parlayed that foresight into Aparium Hotel Group.

Find out more on how these young entrepreneurs are building a new business model for the hospitality industry on the following pages.

Robert Blood | founder and ceo | Lark Hotels | Amesbury, Massachusetts


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