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by Cheryl-Anne Sturken | February 11, 2015

Rendering of a Night Hotel lobbyTen years ago, hotel companies were hungry to roll out boutique brands. These days, they are tripping over each other in the rush to roll out lifestyle brands. In the last month alone, Hilton Worldwide launched Canopy; Hyatt Hotels Corp. announced its sixth brand since 2006, Hyatt Centric; and Loews Hotels debuted its OE Collection.  

But, when New York City-based hotel management company Hampshire Hotels Management announced the launch of Début Hotel Group, which would bring to market five different tiers of lifestyle brands, with a dozen new hotels slated to open in the next year, my interest was immediately piqued. Why? Because Hampshire's newly appointed president and chief executive officer is none other than Eric Danziger, the former president and CEO of Wyndham Hotel Group, the world's largest hotel company based on the number of properties -- 7,490 at last count.

Début's five brands are Augustus Hotels & Resorts, Time Hotels, Dream Hotels, Unscripted Hotels and Night Hotels. Of those, Augustus (named for the Roman Emperor) and Unscripted are completely new. Début currently is repositioning Time and Night hotels in the marketplace, and has a major portfolio expansion planned for Dream. The Hotel Insider caught up with Danziger this week for his perspective on just how these five brands will stack up in an already cramped lifestyle-brand marketplace.

Lobby of a Time HotelThe market is flooded with lifestyle brands. How will yours stand out  from the pack?
Since Début is a group born out of the lifestyle segment, our approach is wholly different than that of the big box brands trying to shoehorn into the segment. We have a truly boutique perspective, since the brands grew organically from independent boutiques that became attractive and successful and evolved into brand models.

Which of DHG's brands would be positioned in the meetings market?
Unscripted is the brand with the greatest potential for the meetings market, since it is largely a conversion model to address hotels in the upscale segment between 250 and 500 rooms with meeting space.

Will DHG be growing its sales force or will it, like the Sonesta Collection, rely heavily on third parties, such as HelmsBriscoe and ConferenceDirect, to drive group business?
Our business is very personalized, as is our approach to sales. Our sales force will be internal.

Are any of your brands geared towards Millennials?
I don't like to pigeon-hole any of the brands to a specific market segment or target audience, since we like to believe all are for the young at heart. If I had to predict which one will resonate the most with Millennials though, it would be Night.