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Compass brings Margaritaville to select-service

ORLANDO, FL—Targeting “guests who are attracted to nontraditional, fun and experiential hotels,” Margaritaville Holdings’ Compass by Margaritaville Hotels & Resorts, an upscale, boutique brand, intends to bring the Margaritaville experience to the select-service space.

“Designed to help travelers relax, rejuvenate and escape the everyday in more locations, Compass by Margaritaville Hotels & Resorts thoughtfully points owners in a new direction, with an economically efficient select-service model that connects travelers with our original lifestyle brand in a personalized, welcoming boutique hotel setting,” Rick Cunningham, Margaritaville’s VP of hotel development, told Hotel Business.

The brand will have some similarities to the original. “Compass by Margaritaville Hotels & Resorts presents a compelling competitive advantage to developers, giving them the unique opportunity to leverage the power of our time-tested lifestyle brand in the thriving boutique, select-service space,” he said. “As with all of our hotels and resorts, travelers will still find our signature brand elements that bring our experience to life, including great food and beverage, social spaces and Margaritaville-inspired design.”

The brand’s customer base will be those who are traveling for work, traveling as part of a group or simply traveling to get away and explore a new spot.

The company’s research indicated that the time was right to launch the brand. “We’ve spent more than a year conducting extensive customer research and market analysis in order to create a fresh new design concept and prototype,” he said. “We noticed an incredible opportunity in this segment to bring forth a true lifestyle experience, at a price point that works for both developers and travelers.”

The prototype is a five-story, 131-room, 83,000-interior-sq.-ft. building sitting on approximately three acres of land. “Compass by Margaritaville Hotels & Resorts will offer specific standards to guide developers, while allowing for a flexible design reflecting each property’s local surroundings and unique architectural or site plan needs,” said Cunningham.

He continued, “Our focus is to ensure the cost to construct a Compass by Margaritaville Hotels & Resorts property is comparable to other upscale, select-service hotels while offering a fun, locally inspired lifestyle experience in a boutique setting. With our tremendous brand awareness and the owner-friendly design concept, we see a remarkable opportunity to rapidly grow the brand across the U.S., with short-term target markets throughout the Southeast and mid-Atlantic.”

The open-concept lobby will bring the outdoors inside.

Margaritaville reports that the brand is a model that works for new-builds, adaptive-reuse buildings, mixed-use concepts and conversions. “Incorporating Margaritaville’s signature ‘casual-luxe’ design, each Compass by Margaritaville Hotels and Resorts property will welcome guests with an open-concept living lounge and bright, airy atmosphere, bringing a taste of the outdoors inside,” said Cunningham. “Travelers will easily unwind and feel at home with ample indoor and outdoor spaces to relax or work. Complimentary amenities will include hot and cold drinks and light snacks at a welcome cabana, a daily signature cocktail happy hour, access to laptops, printing services and high-speed WiFi.”

Each property will include a signature Margaritaville-designed bar and grill concept, in addition to a “comfortable” indoor space, landscaped outdoor deck and patio area featuring fire pits, TVs, water features or free-form pools (in warm-weather markets) and more. For breakfast, an American breakfast buffet included in the guest’s rate will be offered.

The first location for the brand is being developed by Floridays Development Company on Anna Maria Sound, FL. “They are scheduled to break ground by the end of this year, and open in Q1 of 2019,” he said.

Margaritaville plans to grow the brand in the U.S. at first. “Currently, we are aiming for national growth across the U.S., in city-center urban locations, near regional convention centers, college towns and smaller destination resort locations on beaches, lakes and mountains,” said Cunningham. “In the future, we are open to expanding internationally as well.”

Cunningham said that the company has already received “significant interest” from developers, and has issued five letters of intent and/or license agreements since the launch. HB


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