From Hotel News Now: “Margaritaville targets new guests with Compass brand”
Margaritaville Holdings is blending an upscale lifestyle concept with a select-service business model for what its executives hope will be a concoction that developers and consumers consume with gusto.
The Compass by Margaritaville Hotels & Resorts brand, which was officially launched during the 40th annual NYU International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference, will give the company another unique outlet to market the Jimmy Buffett-inspired line of products, according to executives.
“It’s all about escapism—this is boutique, and it’s also select service,” said Rick Cunningham, VP of hotel development. “Consumers told us (select-service brands) are all starting to look the same. We want to make sure Compass reflects a fun, light, airy feeling … a feeling like you’re at a friend’s house.”
The hotel industry’s shift to experiential and lifestyle products is right in Compass’ wheelhouse, according to Jim Wiseman, president of Margaritaville Development. “That’s why this is going to be successful—we already have a lifestyle,” he said.
The company spent a year conducting research on consumers and developers to determine the direction it wanted to go with the concept.
“(What) we realized was that people love Margaritaville, and they love the DNA,” Cunningham said. “They want more locations.”
The prototypical Compass property will be a distinctive five story, 131-room, 83,000-interior-square-foot building sitting on approximately three acres of land, according to a company news release.
Hallmarks for Compass properties include a welcome center, an open living lounge, a branded indoor/outdoor food-and-beverage outlet and a backyard, the executives said. Each property will include a signature Margaritaville-designed bar and grill concept—most often the “It’s Five O’clock Somewhere” brand, but possibly others, Cunningham said.
The first Compass is being developed by Floridays Development Company on Anna Maria Sound, Florida.
The company is in the process of adding a reservations system and a customer relationship management system—those should be in place by the end of the year, Wiseman said, adding that 65% of Margaritaville’s bookings are through its website. There is no official loyalty program, but Margaritaville rewards it loyal guests with things such as concert tickets, Wiseman said.
Margaritaville Hotels & Resorts currently has 12 lodging locations in its portfolio, with more than 20 additional projects in the pipeline.