Carlson Hotels achieves key milestones during first 100 days of Ambition 2015 growth plan

Minneapolis, MN | June 09, 2010

Carlson Hotels, one of the world's leading hotel companies, today reported on the significant progress made in the first 100 days of its long-term Ambition 2015 growth plan. Most notably, Carlson Hotels reported that investments committed to the Radisson strategy in North America already exceed USD 350 million. This includes the introduction of the upper upscale Radisson Blu international brand to the U.S. as well as property improvements to align the current U.S. portfolio with global upscale standards. Fifty percent of the existing U.S. Radisson portfolio has committed to the new standards, just 100 days after they were announced.

"We have achieved marked success in our first 100 days of Ambition 2015 with this strong commitment to compliance, market-leading international growth, and a focus on revenue generation," said Hubert Joly, president and chief executive officer, Carlson. "While this is just the beginning of a five-year strategy, we have established an excellent foundation for growth and brand elevation within the industry."

The milestones achieved during the first 100 days of Ambition 2015 center on: the investment in and growth of Radisson; Carlson Hotels' rapid global expansion; additional investments in revenue generation; and Carlson's acquisition of the majority of The Rezidor Hotel Group.

Radisson

As part of Ambition 2015, Carlson aims to make Radisson a powerful, globally consistent, first-class brand. The milestones achieved in 100 days include:

  • Committed investment in North America totaling USD 350 million to align the brand in the U.S. to global upscale standards. This includes the development of the first flagship hotel in a top U.S. city with the USD 125 million investment in the Radisson Blu Aqua in Chicago. It also includes the commitments made by 50 percent of the existing Radisson portfolio in North American to align with the global upscale standards.

  • The establishment of Radisson Blu as a global upper upscale brand with new hotels announced recently in Asia with the Radisson Blu Cebu in the Philippines; the Caribbean with the Radisson Blu in St. Martin; and the U.S., with the Radisson Blu Aqua in Chicago.

  • The designation by MKG/HTR* in April 2010 of Radisson as Europe's largest upscale brand with 170 hotels in operation.

  • The recognition of Radisson as the fastest growing upscale brand in Asia Pacific with a pipeline of 43 properties (based on STR* March 2010).

Global Expansion

With Ambition 2015, Carlson Hotels aims to increase its hotel portfolio by at least 50 percent to at least 1,500 properties by 2015. Carlson Hotels is off to a strong start with the following accomplishments:

  • So far this year, Carlson Hotels has opened 40 new hotels and signed 37 new contracts.

  • Carlson Hotels expects to open a total of 90 new hotels in 2010 and sign over 100 new contracts.

  • As of the end of April, Carlson Hotels' contracted pipeline stood at 265 properties and it had 1,065 hotels in operations.

  • The company's growth continues to be strong in the emerging economies. It has opened 16 new properties in the former Soviet Union since the beginning of the year and expects to open 18 new hotels in Asia Pacific this year, with plans to open 75 new hotels in the next three years in that region.

  • Particularly newsworthy this month is the fact that Radisson is the largest international brand in South Africa for the FIFA World Cup.

Revenue Generation

A key pillar of Ambition 2015 is a strong focus on revenue generation. After the opening of the New York Global sales office in January 2010, Carlson Hotels will open four new global sales offices later this year in Brussels, Delhi, Shanghai and Tokyo.

The Rezidor Hotel Group

On May 19, 2010, Carlson Hotels became the majority shareholder in The Rezidor Hotel Group, with a 50.1 percent share. The Rezidor portfolio now stands at more than 400 hotels open or under development with more than 84,000 rooms in more than 60 countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

"This has been a powerful start to our long-term strategy and we have built a strong foundation," said Joly. "We are well on our way to achieving our strategic goals."

* MKG/HTR Magazine and STR report on the hotel industry.

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