by Michael J. Shapiro | January 25, 2016

Hilton Worldwide has unveiled details about the new midscale brand the company has been developing. Tru by Hilton, slated to debut its first property by the end of this year, is the lodging company's 13th brand.

The first location for the new flag, which promises "authenticity and value," has not yet been announced, but already there are 102 hotels signed and an additional 30 in various stages of approval. Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Nashville and Portland, Ore., are among the cities in which deals have been inked or are in the works.

"We are incredibly excited to be launching Tru by Hilton, which will serve the largest segment of the hotel market, but a segment where no brand is meeting guests' current needs," said Hilton Worldwide president and CEO Christopher J. Nassetta. "Tru will provide guests with a high-quality, contemporary, consistent and fresh experience at a great value for customers, while at the same time delivering strong returns to our owners."

The prototype, designed to fit urban, suburban, highway, airport-adjacent and dual-branded locations, calls for a 98-room property, with a total footprint covering just 2 acres. But within that small space the brand wants to encourage mingling. Each hotel will feature "The Hive," 2,770 square feet of reimagined lobby space that encourages engagement via four zones - for lounging, working, eating and playing, respectively. The Play Zone will be filled with table games, a large-screen television and tiered, stadium-like seating. The front desk, meanwhile, becomes the Command Center, which will have a social media wall with real-time content and a market open all the time that has light meal options, beer and wine, refreshments and sundries.

Guest rooms will be efficiently designed with platform beds, 55-inch TVs with DirecTV, 8-foot-wide windows, lots of power outlets and spacious bathrooms. Each property also will feature a build-your-own-breakfast bar, a fitness center and tech-focused amenities including complimentary high-bandwidth Wi-Fi that allows for streaming content. 

"Tru by Hilton addresses a gap in the marketplace by appealing to the youthful mindset demographic, pushing the industry to marry quality and value," said Jim Holthouser, executive vice president, global brands, Hilton Worldwide.