Virgin Hotels launched in Chicago in 2015. This is the Virgin brand’s entry into the hotel market. They have several other hotels in the pipeline, though I’ve been a bit surprised by the slow pace at which they’ve opened new hotels.
Virgin Hotels San Francisco is expected to open in a couple of weeks, four years after the first property opened, which seems like a long time to wait.
We know that they have several more hotels in the pipeline, including in Dallas, Edinburgh, Las Vegas, Nashville, New Orleans, New York, Palm Springs, Silicon Valley, and Washington DC.
After the San Francisco property, one of the next ones to open should be the Las Vegas property. Virgin Hotels has actually bought the Hard Rock Hotel, so the plan is for that to be rebranded.
For now that’s continuing to operate as the Hard Rock Hotel, and then in early 2020 it will close, undergo an extensive renovation, and then reopen as Virgin Hotels Las Vegas.
This is where stuff gets interesting (at least to me). I was under the impression that Virgin Hotels was an independent hotel brand, and that they were on some level trying to compete with other major hotels.
However, it has just been announced that Virgin Hotels Las Vegas will join Curio Collection by Hilton. Curio Collection is Hilton’s collection of upscale independent hotels. As of now this is the only Virgin Hotels property to join Curio Collection.
It will be the largest Curio Collection property, with over 1,500 guest rooms and over 110,000 square feet of meeting and events space.
So I’m not sure if Virgin Hotels was considering joining one of the major hotel chains all along, or if this is simply because they realize that selling this many rooms is no small task for a small hotel group, so they need the help of a mega-hotel group, like Hilton.
Here’s what the CEO of Virgin Hotels had to say:
“This partnership offers up Virgin Hotels Las Vegas as a premium lifestyle hotel option to Hilton’s top-notch global hotels sales force to their global meetings and conventions customer base. All Hilton Honors members will be able to enjoy their benefits while staying at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas. These are new customers that hopefully will become fans of Virgin Hotels. The relationship is a good and smart one for our upcoming hotel. Our typical Virgin Hotels properties are about 275 rooms on average and are located in major urban markets, so it made sense to partner with Hilton in Las Vegas. Curio Collection by Hilton is the right alignment for the Las Vegas Convention market as Las Vegas is one of the top meeting and convention destinations in the world.”
I was under the impression that Virgin Hotels was planning on going at it alone, but it seems that’s not the case. That’s fair enough, because they have a lot of hotel rooms to sell in Las Vegas.
It sounds to me like only the Las Vegas property will be joining Curio Collection, and not the rest. This presents an interesting opportunity for Virgin Hotels to sell more people on their brand. Some people may be drawn to Virgin Hotels Las Vegas because of their Hilton affiliation, and then end up staying at another Virgin Hotels property that isn’t affiliated with Hilton.
It also presents an interesting situation for Hilton, as Virgin Hotels could be viewed as trying to “poach” clients from Hilton properties in other cities.
This still seems like a win-win for both brands.
What do you make of Virgin Hotels Las Vegas joining Curio Collection?
(Tip of the hat to @2GaysAndAPuppy)