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HM on location: Caption by Hyatt launches

PHOENIX—Another brand has been hurled into the ever-expanding lodging universe, spun into the fray by Chicago-based Hyatt Hotels Corp. and dubbed Caption by Hyatt.

The new entry will play in the select-service arena as a lifestyle brand positioned to attract guests across a broad age range who want to work, dine and/or socialize in community-inspired spaces that are designed to encourage guests and locals to mingle.

On site at The Lodging Conference, Heather Geisler, VP/global brands told Hotel Management the chain “really listens” to its guests and owners, seeking innovative ways to address their needs.

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“We really identified a white space and that was at the intersection of where lifestyle, which is a place where Hyatt has really built some equity with the acquisition of Two Roads [Hospitality] and the dynamic space for guests, intersects with the convenience of a select-service offering. It’s not a place where we currently had a brand…we really tried to create a new space that was really focused on connections.”

The fundamentals of the Caption concept revolve around design that has flexibility and modularity—“you can move the furniture around,” said Geisler—as well as through the new brand’s morning, noon and night F&B offering that will include a bar, café and market mix, and experiences that “don’t begin and end at the front door.” These could include activities such as book readings or beer tastings. “It was really this idea that [connections] can be defined by the environment,” she said. “It was something that was really important for us.”

She added Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group helped with curating an engaging F&B concept for Caption.

Gary Dollens, head of product and brand development, said developers also let Hyatt know it was “on the right track” in creating the new concept.

In terms of launching now, Dollens noted brands “are always evolving” and the roster of Hyatt products are reviewed consistently to see if there’s new opportunities to finesse or rethink or revamp.

“Some of them you are evolving in an organic way, and others you say: ‘Hmm. There’s an opportunity here.’…we pay attention to what is happening in the industry, we understand what’s happening and then we see there’s an opportunity to create something that’s truly unique and scalable. This is a scalable brand for us,” he said, noting the intent is to go global with the Caption concept.

The brand will be franchised and lend itself to both new-build and conversion opportunities.

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