Welcome To The New Tropicana Las Vegas Hilton Double Tree
» filed under Las Vegas tagged: tropicana doubletree hilton cosmopolitan independent spirit comments: 9
Late last week, The Tropicana and Hilton's DoubleTree brand announced a franchise partnership which brings the Hilton name back to "The Strip." The Tropicana gets access to Hilton HHonors marketing, booking and massive rolodex and the Hilton gets the first slice off the top without carrying any of the debt or responsibility.
The property will be officially renamed Tropicana Las Vegas - a DoubleTree by Hilton shortly after the new year.
I'm not really sure what the hell to make of this. Obviously, the Tropicana isn't performing as CEO Alex Yemenidjian's forecasts had expected, despite completing herculean task of transforming a certifiable shit hole into a strong "best in (middle) class" performer.
What I do find worrisome about this deal is that Yemenidijian has had absolutely zero luck so far enacting the Murrenish policy of slicing off pieces of the resort to external forces in the hopes of making the numbers add up. A resort isn't about fresh paint, clean carpet and friendly customer service... it is about crafting the customer experience by presenting a seamless end-to-end array of exquisite customer experiences. If you are lucky enough to own all four walls of your property, you have a rare opportunity to build a very special machine. If not, you'll ultimately suffer from Sbarro Syndrome.
On second thought, Cosmopolitan has curated some stellar content (plus pizza) coupled it with Marriott's rolodex and even hired ex-Trop fixer Tom McCartney and look where it's gotten them. Fledgling, but with lovely plumage.
Perhaps the days of independent operator are officially over. Is it even possible for the Tropicana, Cosmopolitan, Riviera, LVH, Hard Rock, Treasure Island et al. to compete without having that ginormous customer database, rickety but functional comp clubs and their super secret value extraction algorithms? When you're dealing with filling 1,500+ rooms a night, you're sunk... hence the franchise agreements.
Does this agreement - or any of these marketing franchise agreements Marriott, Hilton, Starwood, Wyndham, Best Western, Accor etc. - make you more or less inclined to stay at a given property? Obviously these agreements work as franchisers are constantly looking to boost their hotel group footprint and franchisees are signing the first bite of their large double anchovy away.
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