A direct connection between Nashville International Airport and London's Heathrow Airport could be established in 2016 if Music City can beat out the Midwestern quartet of Columbus, Indianapolis, St. Louis and Cleveland. So says a Columbus Dispatch report today, noting officials from Ohio's capital recently trekked to London to advocate for a flight. BA executives are in expansion mode — they added a direct link to Austin earlier this year — and are expected to make a decision in the first half of next year.
A Kentucky investment group has paid almost $6 million two properties near the corner of Broadway and Third Avenue, where it plans to open a boutique hotel and restaurant complex. The site is in the footprint of where developers had once planned to build a Westin hotel and wraps around the Trail West building. Getahn Ward has more here.
The hotel Barkley Lake Inn plans will occupy the upper floors of both buildings with an entrance on Third Avenue South. An upscale restaurant with indoor and outdoor space is planned for the rooftop of the building at 215 Broadway.
Nashville's "It City" and the building of the Music City Center has created a veritable hospitality boom that is working its way into visitors' wallets: Hotels.com reports that the average Nashville hotel room rate paid in the first half of this year was $164. That's up a whopping 20 percent from the same time in 2013 and the largest price increase of the country's top 50 destinations. The $164 was more than the average Los Angeles room rate and only a shade below prices paid in Chicago.
You can download the report here.
A Florida-based developer wants to build a hotel/sports facility complex in Lebanon's Cumberland Center area off Interstate 40. GoodSports Enterprises Global is building or planning similar projects in Indiana, Kansas, Missouri and Ohio. The proposed project in Wilson County would comprise a 115-room hotel and a 60,000-square-foot indoor sports center.
Last week’s back-to-back announcements that boutique hotel brands Kimpton and Thompson are both bound for Nashville surely caught the attention of many folks in the travel and tourism industry.
For a city with the population of Nashville (about 1.7 million in the metro area) to land one would be a big deal. To get both … it’s huge.
Let’s take a quick look at the two brands, starting with Thompson.
San Francisco-based Commune Hotels and Resorts owns and operates the Thompson brand. Of note, businessman and philanthropist John Pritzker is board chairman and owner of Commune.
Pritzker has a hospitality industry background, as his family started Hyatt Hotel in 1957. A founding member of Ticketmaster, the Chicago native is believed to have a net worth of about $2 billion, according to forbes.com
Pritzker’s lieutenant is Niki Leondakis, who serves as Commune chief executive officer. Interestingly, Leondakis once lived in Nashville. More noteworthy, she previously served as president and chief operating officer of Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, thus giving the arrival of both Thompson Nashville and the Kimpton at Buckingham Midtown an almost coincidental element.
As for Kimpton, the parent company is Kimpton Hotel & Restaurant Group Inc., which, like Commune, is based in San Francisco. The company operates the most boutique hotels in the United States (about 60).
Notwithstanding three hotels in Alexandria, Virginia, two in Miami and one in Vero Beach, Florida, the company has no hotels in Southeastern states. A 21-story Hotel Palomar Atlanta Midtown closed in 2011 (it’s now a Marriott).
Kimpton Hotel & Restaurant Group consistently ranks among the nation’s most progressive, frequently being recognized for its attention to operating in an environmentally friendly manner and for being receptive to gay and lesbian employees and guests.
The majority of Kimpton boutique hotels are marketed under independent names. But in 2005, the company unveiled sub-brands Hotel Palomar and Hotel Monaco. There are eight and 10, respectively, of each.
There were about 7,500 Kimpton employees in 2012, according to fortune.com.
A Colorado-based hotelier has created DBIK&J Nashville LLC to acquire for $9.1 million the Hyatt Place hotel near the Nashville International Airport, The Tennessean reports.
DBIK&J Nashville acquired the 83-room hotel from an affiliate of Chattanooga-based Vision Hospitality Group, which will soon open its Gulch-based Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott, accordign to the morning daily.
Nashville’s downtown urban core might be in line for a hotel brand that is best recognized for operating in suburban-style buildings but is transitioning toward an urban model.
Earlier this week, The Tennessean reported that San Francisco-based private investment firm Fillmore Capital Partners LLC has under contract the Rosa Parks Boulevard (Eighth Avenue) site on which a Goodyear tire store sits.
Fillmore and hotel franchising company Choice Hotels International Inc. about a year ago combined to develop multiple properties under the latter’s Cambria Suites brand, the morning daily reports.
A quick look at various websites reveals multiple understated buildings housing Cambria Suites hotels (see an example below with ubiquitous stucco and earth tones).
However, Choice Hotels International last April unveiled a cutting-edge Cambria Suites building in downtown Washington D.C. (Seen at left and below in silver and with a slight industrial aesthetic)
The Washington Business Journal reports (read here) Choice has three more urban model Cambrias — two in Manhattan and one in White Plains, N.Y. — under construction, with others planned.
It is unclear what will happen to the Goodyear business if Fillmore acquires the site.
Relatedly, there is a question as to the number of hotels the general area can accommodate. First Baptist Church officials are attempting to sell property adjacent to the Goodyear site and on which Giarratana Nashville had planned a Marriott hotel before the deal fell through. Catty-corner from the FBC site, Turnberry Associates plans a hotel, while work on a Westin hotel will soon begin next to the Turnberry site.
(Images courtesy of Choice Hotels)
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