Tribute coming to Minneapolis: Rand Tower

Old Jul 19, 19, 5:39 pm
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Tribute coming to Minneapolis: Rand Tower

This was announced in yesterday's (Wednesday, July 17, 2019) print edition of the StarTribune (not a direct quote but a summary):

The 1929 Rand Tower building at Marquette and 6th in downtown Minneapolis is being converted/renovated at a cost of $86,000,000 to become aTributre by Marriott hotel with 277 rooms and suites. It's expected to open in December 2020 and will include a restaurant, bar, and 2,135 sq ft fifth floor rooftop patio (bar) with a retractable glass roof in the annex. The developer is Marven Real Estate Partners. The building is connected to the skyway system and will remain so during construction. It's listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Oxford Capital Group will manage the hotel. They are responsible for the Langham Chicago and the LondonHouse Chicago, while this property will resemble with its modernist design. It will enter the market as a four and a half star property, so that its obvious competitors would be Hotel Ivy (LC, legacy Starwood which opened just before the 2008 RNC) and the Four Seasons which is planned for 2021.
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Old Jul 19, 19, 6:52 pm
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Strange that they would flag as a Tribute if they wanted to compete with the Hotel Ivy. I tend to think of Tribute as something akin to Delta, meaning a full service hotel with minimal standards.

Seems like there are a lot of Marriott options in downtown MSP.
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Old Jul 19, 19, 7:37 pm
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Originally Posted by C17PSGR View Post
Strange that they would flag as a Tribute if they wanted to compete with the Hotel Ivy. I tend to think of Tribute as something akin to Delta, meaning a full service hotel with minimal standards.

Seems like there are a lot of Marriott options in downtown MSP.
I agree, but the article said 4.5 stars, which would be a bit about LM or W.

Even before the merger, there were a lot of Starwoods in Minneapolis given the generally smallish footprint. Part of this was the general expansion before RNC (and then there was a smaller expansion before SuperBowl, but that was more noticeable in the suburbs).

By contrast, in the last couple decades, Hyatt added a big HP downtown, a Hyatt downtown (to become a Centric), a HR by the airport, and a HP over in St Paul in a renovated historic building to a downtown HR (built in the 1980s I believe) and two old suburban HPs.

Last edited by MSPeconomist; Jul 19, 19 at 7:42 pm
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Old Jul 22, 19, 2:48 pm
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Originally Posted by C17PSGR View Post
Strange that they would flag as a Tribute if they wanted to compete with the Hotel Ivy. I tend to think of Tribute as something akin to Delta, meaning a full service hotel with minimal standards.
Marriott now has three "soft brand" collections for hotels with their own unique style, history, or reputation: Luxury Collection, Autograph Collection, and Tribute Portfolio.

Tribute Portfolio was Starwood's answer to Marriott's Autograph Collection. I've read that Marriott is now positioning Tribute Portfolio as somewhere below Autograph Collection — but still for full-service, distinctive properties.

Delta Hotels, on the other hand, is now a conversion brand similar to DoubleTree by Hilton. When a hotel owner spruces up an old Ramada Plaza (or similar) at a freeway off-ramp and adds standardized furniture and an Elite Pantry, that hotel can qualify to be branded as a Delta Hotels property.

Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
I agree, but the article said 4.5 stars, which would be a bit about LM or W.
Considering that the Rand Tower is a historical structure getting a costly renovation and will be positioned as a near-luxury property, the right brand would seem to be Autograph Collection.

Then again, there are ready two Autograph Collection properties in Minneapolis — Emery, Autograph Collection, and Elliot Park Hotel, Autograph Collection — so maybe the developer and management company see more value in identifying the Rand Tower with Tribute Portfolio.
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Old Jul 22, 19, 4:29 pm
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Those two Autograph Collection properties seem more like large boutique hotels to me, not near-luxury.
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Old Jul 22, 19, 6:09 pm
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Originally Posted by Horace View Post
Then again, there are ready two Autograph Collection properties in Minneapolis — Emery, Autograph Collection, and Elliot Park Hotel, Autograph Collection — so maybe the developer and management company see more value in identifying the Rand Tower with Tribute Portfolio.
This is complete speculation, but there might be geographic restrictions prohibiting additional Autograph Collection hotels built into the franchise agreements of one or both of those properties. To avoid oversaturation of a brand, a forward-thinking franchisee will insist on being the only hotel of a given brand within a certain geographic radius.

That said, I'm not sure it matters. There are too many brands now for the general public to easily grasp the difference.
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Old Jul 22, 19, 6:26 pm
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Originally Posted by writerguyfl View Post
This is complete speculation, but there might be geographic restrictions prohibiting additional Autograph Collection hotels built into the franchise agreements of one or both of those properties. To avoid oversaturation of a brand, a forward-thinking franchisee will insist on being the only hotel of a given brand within a certain geographic radius.

That said, I'm not sure it matters. There are too many brands now for the general public to easily grasp the difference.
That's reasonable speculation. It could very well be a geographic restriction.

Hilton also has three collection brands. Hilton's luxury "soft brand" is LXI. But I'm not entirely sure of the difference between Canopy Collection and Curio Collection. I think Curio Collection is the higher-end collection, while Canopy Collection sits somewhat lower on the food chain.

What all these brands from Marriott and Hilton have in common is they are supposed to be collections of one-of-a-kind hotels, not hotel chains in the traditional sense.

Because the Rand Tower hotel will be like no other hotel and will have its identity defined by the historical building, it makes sense to affiliate it with a collection brand rather than a brand such as W Hotels or Le Méridien.

Last edited by Horace; Jul 22, 19 at 6:33 pm
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Old Jul 22, 19, 8:19 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Those two Autograph Collection properties seem more like large boutique hotels to me, not near-luxury.
But, notwithstanding the description, I don't know of any Tribute property that can be described as "near-luxury." Presuming the developers have done some due diligence, they would know that.
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Old Jul 22, 19, 10:49 pm
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Originally Posted by C17PSGR View Post
Strange that they would flag as a Tribute if they wanted to compete with the Hotel Ivy. I tend to think of Tribute as something akin to Delta, meaning a full service hotel with minimal standards.
Not sure how many Tribute properties you've stayed or if you've read the marketing materials for the brand, but it's far from akin to Delta. I'd put it just under Westin or Le Meridien or Renaissance - full service but different standards than most cookie cutter Marriott brands. The uniqueness can be misinterpreted as lower standards. And if this is the same developer as the Langham Chicago my guess is this will be a beautiful historic building redevelopment.
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Old Jul 23, 19, 3:46 am
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Originally Posted by Horace View Post
That's reasonable speculation. It could very well be a geographic restriction.

Hilton also has three collection brands. Hilton's luxury "soft brand" is LXI. But I'm not entirely sure of the difference between Canopy Collection and Curio Collection. I think Curio Collection is the higher-end collection, while Canopy Collection sits somewhat lower on the food chain.

What all these brands from Marriott and Hilton have in common is they are supposed to be collections of one-of-a-kind hotels, not hotel chains in the traditional sense.

Because the Rand Tower hotel will be like no other hotel and will have its identity defined by the historical building, it makes sense to affiliate it with a collection brand rather than a brand such as W Hotels or Le Méridien.
However, the LM (Chambers) in Minneapolis is located in several (renovated) historic buildings, although it also has an art gallery and lots of contemporary art throughout the hotel.
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Old Jul 23, 19, 6:42 am
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
However, the LM (Chambers) in Minneapolis is located in several (renovated) historic buildings, although it also has an art gallery and lots of contemporary art throughout the hotel.

When Le Méridien Chambers Minneapolis opened around a dozen years ago, the Tribute Portfolio "soft brand" did not yet exist — so it wasn't an option.

These days, hotel developers have far more choices — a bewildering array of brands from Marriott, Hilton, IHG, Hyatt, Accor, and the others. And, supposedly, many in the Millennial Generation prefer independent lifestyle and boutique hotels over traditional chain hotels.

There are cases in Marriott where hotels have chosen to move from Renaissance or Ritz-Carlton to Autograph Collection.

There will still be cases when a hotel company prefers an identity based on the reputation and standards of a traditional brand such as Le Méridien or Renaissance — even when there's historical building involved.

The points I've tried to make in this thread is that Tribute Portfolio is an appropriate brand for the hotel going into Rand Tower (especially if Autograph Collection is not an option for some reason) — and that Tribute Portfolio is positioned quite differently than Delta Hotels.
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Old Jul 23, 19, 7:35 am
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Originally Posted by itsaboutthejourney View Post
Not sure how many Tribute properties you've stayed or if you've read the marketing materials for the brand, but it's far from akin to Delta. I'd put it just under Westin or Le Meridien or Renaissance - full service but different standards than most cookie cutter Marriott brands. The uniqueness can be misinterpreted as lower standards. And if this is the same developer as the Langham Chicago my guess is this will be a beautiful historic building redevelopment.
Originally Posted by Horace View Post
When Le Méridien Chambers Minneapolis opened around a dozen years ago, the Tribute Portfolio "soft brand" did not yet exist — so it wasn't an option.

These days, hotel developers have far more choices — a bewildering array of brands from Marriott, Hilton, IHG, Hyatt, Accor, and the others. And, supposedly, many in the Millennial Generation prefer independent lifestyle and boutique hotels over traditional chain hotels.

There are cases in Marriott where hotels have chosen to move from Renaissance or Ritz-Carlton to Autograph Collection.

There will still be cases when a hotel company prefers an identity based on the reputation and standards of a traditional brand such as Le Méridien or Renaissance — even when there's historical building involved.

The points I've tried to make in this thread is that Tribute Portfolio is an appropriate brand for the hotel going into Rand Tower (especially if Autograph Collection is not an option for some reason) — and that Tribute Portfolio is positioned quite differently than Delta Hotels.
While I understand those comments, I have stayed in two Tribute properties: The Maxwell and the Royal Palm. Both are subpar and would have been deflag but for their locations. They are subpar in terms of their staff, the condition of the facilities, the quality of the facilities, and more. The threads on those properties here on Ft are consistent with my view of them. They are also the most prominent locations of Tribute Properties in the US with a handful of Magnolia hotels in other cities and the rest scattered around in places like Muscatine Iowa and Cleveland Mississippi. I suppose I think of Tribute as a tribute that these places may have been nice at one time. They do have bellstaff, a restaurant, and room service so they are allowed to call themselves full-service properties just like Delta even though the properties or much more of the quality of a limited service property. I suspect this property is going to be something more like an AC or Courtyard with bell staff, a restaurant and room service.

As for the management company, Oxford, The Langham is a good property but they also manage the Lexington in New York which is also an embarrassingly bad property that would have been deflagged but for its location along with the Doubletree in New York and several limited-service Springhill, Hyatt Place, Etc properties.

All that being said, maybe the common theme is that Tribute Properties are refurbished Art Deco era buildings with ambiguous brand standards while Delta properties tend to be refurbished bland and modern buildings with ambiguous brand standards.

Of course, the W Foshay in Minneapolis is in an art deco building but they chose to meet a more clear brand standard.

Last edited by C17PSGR; Jul 23, 19 at 7:51 am
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