News for the Hospitality Executive
Virgin's Richard Branson Jumping into the Hotel Business;
The Virgin Hotels Brand
to be Lead by Anthony Marino, Raul Leal and Paul Whetsell
Our next (ad)venture: Virgin Hotels
“I’ve had great fun turning quite a lot of different industries on their heads and making sure those industries would never be the same because Virgin took them on.” Sir Richard BransonWith over 25 years in the travel sector and a reputation for delivering unforgettable experiences to millions of Virgin fans, Virgin is a perfect fit for the hotel business. Virgin is a leader in design and hospitality and has transformed businesses ranging from airlines to fitness clubs to super luxury retreats and even space tourism. Our customers expect innovation and excellence and our new 4 star hotels will deliver exactly that.
The Virgin Advantage:
Virgin Hotels offers a unique opportunity for property owners and developers to partner with a leading global brand in a highly differentiated hotel proposition that taps into evolving trends in consumer tastes. Our aim to re-define the customer journey from pre-arrival to check-out is built on extensive customer research. Our valuable target audience includes the high income, well-educated, metropolitan “creative class.” We can leverage millions of Virgin flyers to significantly enhance marketing, sales and distribution, and millions of loyalty program members (Virgin America Elevate™ and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club™). In addition, having built large scale, highly profitable businesses, we bring proven operational expertise.
Virgin Hotels will be flexible in how we work with our partners. We can operate as a third party manager, partner with ownership, or acquire properties directly. To this end, Virgin Group has established a property venture with entrepreneur Alberto Beeck and hospitality and real estate investor Diego Lowenstein. The venture aims to acquire up to $500M in properties over the next three years.
Virgin Hotels seeks attractive property opportunities in North America’s most dynamic cities
Capitalizing on the Virgin brand’s global appeal and cosmopolitan fan base, the initial cities on Virgin Hotels’ target list include major urban markets in North America (e.g. New York, San Francisco, Miami, Los Angeles, Boston, Washington DC). Our ambitions are global, but as a first move we are focusing on North America.
We are keen to discover a range of interesting, authentic and high quality 150–400 room properties in appealing neighborhoods that will meet the expectations of travelers in the “creative class” — a culture and mindset that represent the values of our target guests.
Once ready for business, Virgin Hotels properties will feature contemporary style AND great functionality, an efficient yet personalized experience, ample communal space and a signature restaurant.
Virgin Hotels will define its communal spaces by building on experience the brand has gained in operating award-winning Clubhouses around the world — unique spaces where our guests can get work done, nourish and refresh themselves, meet other interesting people, or just take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Our target guest is more than comfortable with technology and craves customization and efficiency — so our properties will provide simple yet intuitive systems to help them get the most out of their stay (both in-room and throughout communal spaces).
What we’re looking for:
Anthony Marino, Executive Director
Raul Leal, President & COO
Paul Whetsell, Executive Director
The Virgin Group: from mobile phones to spaceships
Virgin is a leading branded venture capital organization and one of the world’s most recognized and respected brands. Since it was conceived in 1970 by Sir Richard Branson, the Virgin Group has created more than 300 branded companies worldwide, employing approximately 50,000 people in 30 countries, in business sectors ranging from mobile telephony to transportation, financial services, media, music, fitness, Formula 1 racing and even space tourism. We believe in making a difference. Virgin stands for value for money, quality, innovation, fun and a sense of competitive challenge. These core principles combine to create global branded revenues that in 2009 exceeded $18 billion.
The Virgin brand’s power
Sir Richard Branson
|Also See:||Following Raul Leal's Departure, Desires Hotels Elevates Three to New Executive Positions / September 2010|