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Hyatt, Marriott Join Race to Woo Millennials With Hip High-Tech Hotel Brands


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Major Chains Hope to Lure Lucrative Generational Crowd With Rooftop Bars, Spartan Accommodations, Free WiFi

January 28, 2015



Ah, the elusive millennial generation cohort. Employers spend millions of dollars researching millennial goals and beliefs to try and figure out what they want in a job. The housing industry can’t decide why they’re not buying houses like their parents did. (No savings for down payments? Student debt? They just prefer to rent?)

With millennial choices holding such a large sway over the economy, it’s not surprising that hotel chains have joined the rush of industries trying to crack the code and appeal to the cohort roughly defined as anyone born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s.

The latest lodging company racing to retool their portfolios to target the millennial and millennial-minded traveler is Hyatt Hotels Corp. (NYSE: H), which this week rolled out its Hyatt Centric brand. Hyatt joins a growing group of lodging companies making major changes to their hotel properties and services in hopes of capturing a bigger share of the millennial market, a customer segment that already accounts for around one-third of all business travel expenses, according to Hyatt.

This summer, the chain plans to unveil more than 15 Hyatt Centric locations, which will include already open and previously announced hotels in New York, Paris, Atlanta, Chicago and Miami, among others. Hyatt said its new brand targets “a multigenerational group comprised of travelers who view their hotel as more than a place to stay.”

“From listening to our guests, we learned there was an opportunity to better meet the needs of a large group of travelers that we call ‘modern explorers,” said Hyatt President and CEO Mark Hoplamazian. “These travelers are looking for a cosmopolitan vibe in the center of the action, so we worked to test various elements in real time, in real hotels over the past two years. Hyatt Centric is the culmination of that work.”

Hyatt’s new Centric line follows last week’s announcement of a new joint venture between Rockbridge and TPG Hospitality to develop and operate a Marriott International-flagged property in California’s Silicon Valley slated to open in 2016 targeting the same cohort. Growth plans for the AC Hotels By Marriott brand include more than 50 hotels to open within the next three years throughout the U.S. and Latin America.

Whether millennial or multigenerational, the Generation Y segment has made a strong impact on hotel design and branding over the last year, with Radisson, Marriott, Hilton, Loews, Montage and even Best Western having already unveiled brands aimed at millennials,

The new hotel brands launched by the major chains include Canopy by Hilton, Radisson Red, The Pendry, from Montage Hotels; The Vib (pronounced “vibe”) from Best Western; and OE Collection from Loews Hotels, and Marriott’s Edition boutique brand, a collaboration with famed hotelier Ian Schrager. In addition to the Marriott and Hyatt offerings, brands expected to see a big roll out in 2015 include Marriott’s new Moxy Hotels, Virgin Hotels and Tommie Hotels.

The AC Hotels brand has been around since many millennials became adults. Founded by Spanish hotelier Antonio Catalán in 1998, the chain gained a foothold in Europe and changed its name to AC Hotels By Marriott in 2011. Marriott International in mid-2013 announced it would roll out AC Hotels in North America as its first select-service introduced in the U.S. in 15 years.

Whether or not they are identified as targeting millennials in brand marketing descriptions, these new offerings are targeting cost-conscious and experience-focused younger travelers in their 20s and 30s, accustomed to staying at hostels, boutique inns and rooms booked through Airbnb and other social media.

The new hotel concepts are distinguished by smaller room sizes, many under 200 square feet, compared with the industry’s standard room size of 250 to 300 square feet, as well as spare design such as minimally adorned concrete floors, exposed columns and other structural elements, and modern “industrial-chic” furniture.

AC Hotels and other concept brands first emerged in the innovation-minded and fragmented lodging markets of Europe and Asia and have crossed the ocean to become new concepts for U.S. investors hoping to capitalize on the trend while increasing their returns, according to Howard Roth, global real estate leader for EY, and Michael Fishbin, the firm’s global hospitality and leisure leader.

Shorter construction times, smaller rooms and so-called “nontraditional spaces” can lower development costs and boost operating margins compared with traditional full-service hotels, according to Fishbin. For example, hotel chains can cut costs by reconfiguring pricy large rooms with heavy furniture and full-service restaurants, replacing them with smaller room, food options offering convenient ‘grab-and-go’ food, offering free Wi-Fi and a mobile-friendly check-in service.

The new products and concepts often emphasize lobbies and common areas, lounges and bars as focal points, creating more revenue-generating areas of the hotel outside of the rooms, with designs focused on attracting local demand, according to EY’s 2015 Global Hospitality Insights.

Low-cost hostel/lifestyle/budget concepts are now becoming available in both major markets such as New York, Los Angeles and Miami, where traditional hotel rates are prohibitively expensive, as well as in secondary markets such as Detroit, New Orleans, Nashville and Portland, where unique cultural elements can serve as a huge draw for millennials.

“Millennials demand instant gratification, including speed, efficiency and convenience,” Roth and Fishbin both said. “It trumps the importance of face-to-face contact or friendly service.”

In fact, mobile device applications such as TripAdvisor and Yelp make it more likely travelers will book their rooms at the last minute and post their experiences and complaints online, putting hotels are under the gun more than ever to deliver their best service.

Kristine Rose, vice president of brands at Hyatt, said these travelers “are truly a savvy, curious group.”

“Their expectations are simple, but their standards are high and they want their experience to be intuitive and smart,” Rose said. “They want options and all the must-haves from a full-service hotel but without any fuss or complications.”


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Don’t do any long-distance moving into a home that isn’t clean and tidy

January 27, 2015


If you’re about to trek across state lines or even from one coast to another for a major relocation, you’ll want to minimize as much aggravation as you can. This means you need to avoid any work possible on moving day, since you and your state-to-state movers will be pretty busy unpacking and organizing. Don’t move into a messy house – make sure things are pristine when you get there.

The best way to ensure that your new digs are clean is to do it yourself. Unfortunately, this isn’t usually possible when long-distance moving is involved. If you can’t easily get to the new place, consider hiring a local cleaning company to give things a once over before you arrive with your boxes and furniture. Search online or contact your real estate agent to be certain there’s a reliable company involved with the clean up.

You can also remove the responsibility of cleaning from yourself by putting the cleanliness in writing. For instance, one of the closing stipulations can be that the old owner needs to clean (or hire cleaners) to get the house in tip-top shape before you set foot in it. Make sure to include language guaranteeing a penalty for non-compliance or else you and your movers might be kicking dust bunnies and trash out of the way to make room for your possessions.

Youngsoft Welcomes Amy S. Courter as SVP, Sales & Marketing

Jan 9, 2015 | Wixom, Michigan

About Youngsoft
Based in Wixom, Michigan, Youngsoft is a full-service IT technology and consulting firm that specializes in IT staffing, application develpoment, and niche software practices to improve the effciency, cost-effectiveness, and capabilites of its clients.  Youngsoft has extensive experience in many different industry verticals, and has offices in North America and India.  To learn more about Youngsoft, visit our website at 

Stevens International Achieves FAIM 3.0 Certification

December 28images, 2014

(Columbia City, Ind.)— As a premier moving and storage company known around the world, Stevens is constantly improving customer service by growing the company’s knowledge base and expertise in all facets of the industry. In particular, the International division is one part of the Stevens moving experience that sets the company apart, due to its decades of experience and wealth of resources. In a continued effort to improve international moves for customers, Stevens Worldwide Van Lines is pleased to announce that its division designated for overseas moves, Stevens International, has recently been granted FAIM 3.0 certification from FIDI.

FAIM 3.0 is the most current version of the quality assurance standards implemented by FIDI, and it consists of a thorough and rigorous vetting process. All applicants for this certification must have at least 2 years of prior experience in handling international moves, must have completed a minimum of at least 10 overseas moves in any given year and must have sufficient insurance coverage. Each applicant must assess their entire moving process, including equipment used, performance of employees and customer service (handling claims, response time to customer’s needs, etc). Once the applicant has completed these steps, a FAIM auditor will visit the applicant’s facilities to verify that the applicant meets all standards and guidelines.

FIDI reports that less than 30% of all applicants are successful in passing their FAIM 3.0 audit, and Stevens is proud to say that Stevens International achieved certification on the first attempt. Moving with a FIDI Affiliate insures impeccable service and adherence to the most stringent of industry standards, which is what every customer needs when planning an overseas move.

Stevens International is a division of Stevens Worldwide Van Lines, a full-service moving and storage company based in Saginaw, Michigan, which specializes in local, out-of-state, commercial and international moves. Stevens International is ISO 9001 certified and has contact with more than 700 agents around the world, enabling the Stevens team to provide each customer with a combination of valuable knowledge and resources that will make any international move smooth and stress-free.

Keep backups on hand when you do any long distance moving

October 31, 2014

Keep backups on hand when you do any long distance moving

When you need long distance moving and storage services, you’ll probably divide your possessions into two groups. The first, which includes some clothes, household items and pieces of furniture, are those things that wouldn’t devastate you if they were lost or damaged. After all, quite a bit of what people use is relatively expendable.

In contrast, many people have prized possessions they could never find replacements for. Family photo albums, for example, are one-of-a-kind and their losses can be extremely tragic. The same is true for home videos, and this idea also applies to important items such as financial documents, government forms and medical records.

Consequently, it’s a good idea to make a digital backup of those materials well before the relocation and moving services come to box up your possessions and cart them across the country. Invest in a scanner and external hard drive or get in touch with conversion specialists. Moving company employees are professionals and won’t be to blame for your losses, but random acts of God can quickly wipe out your family records and keepsakes at the drop of a hat. Don’t take the risk these items will last forever – convert them to digital when you transfer your life from one home to another.

Global Sustainability Conference

October 31, 2014

Pictured are (from left) Brian Eggers, Lindsay Stevens-Eggers,
and Morrie Stevens Sr.

Stevens Worldwide Van Lines sponsored the Global Sustainability Conference at Saginaw Valley State University (SVSU). The event is a result of a partnership between SVSU’s College of Business and Management and the University of Delhi’s renowned business school. Held from September 23-26, 2014, the opening reception took place at the Marshall M. Frederick Sculpture Museum located on the campus. As in the past, Stevens has been responsible for transporting the artwork from the home of the museum’s namesake, the late sculptor Marshall Fredericks, to the museum.

The conference included presentations and addresses from scholars and business professionals from Michigan-based companies and global powerhouses alike. Morrie Stevens Sr., Stevens Worldwide Van Lines Chairman and CEO, was a panelist during the week’s events.

The discussions in global business sustainability covered various sectors including agribusiness, the automotive industry, entrepreneurship, energy, and