Tru by Hilton opens up new markets in Canada

MCLEAN, Va. — Hilton has three Tru by Hilton hotels under construction or in the pipeline. The three locations include Edmonton-Windermere, which has no current hotels, high-tech hub Markham and Kingston, Ont., a college town.

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Alexandra Jaritz

Alexandra Jaritz

MCLEAN, Va. — Hilton has three Tru by Hilton hotels under construction or in the pipeline here in Canada. The three locations include Edmonton-Windermere, which has no current hotels, high-tech hub Markham and Kingston, Ont., a college town.

Alexandra Jaritz, global head, Tru by Hilton, provided the following answers to questions from Canadian Lodging News editor Colleen Isherwood.

Colleen: What is the status of the 92-room Tru by Hilton Edmonton-Windermere, located in Alberta,
developed by Rohan Investments? 

Alexandra: The property is under construction, making great progress, and is expected to open in Q4 of 2018.

The suburb
of Windermere, where the property is being constructed, is an up-and-coming
neighborhood located about 10-15 minutes south of downtown Edmonton. It’s the
first hotel – of any kind – located in this area. Tru by Hilton
Edmonton-Windermere will be conveniently located right off the new highway 216,
nestled amongst new commercial development.

One of the many exciting aspects
of the Tru by Hilton model is that it eliminates many barriers to entry. Tru is value-engineered for owners with
lower upfront investment costs and a design emphasizing operational
efficiencies. 

Tru by Hilton developers
have the option to scale the prototype up to 130 rooms or down to 82 rooms
without any significant adjustments needed to the front or back of house
spaces, and the land requirement is only 1.58 acres, which gives them even more
flexibility in their locations.

Ravi
Bhushan of Rohan Developments will develop, own and operate Tru by Hilton
Edmonton-Windermere.

This Tru by
Hilton property will have a pool, which is an optional feature for the brand. It
is also situated within a commercial plaza with numerous restaurant and
shopping options.

Colleen:  How is the 120-room Tru by Hilton Markham doing? 

Alexandra: Construction on this property has not yet begun. Developed by Hanisha Incorporated
& Lodson Investments Corporation, it is expected to open in 2020. This
property is a dual brand project with Home2 Suites, Hilton’s all-suite
accommodations option for travellers seeking a longer stay. 

Markham is located in the
Greater Toronto area, a growing market with a variety of demand generators. Tru
by Hilton Toronto Markham will be an attractive option for business and leisure
travellers alike, located off one of the main highways through town, Highway
407, near plenty of high-tech and corporate parks, and sports and leisure
centres.

Hilton Garden Inn
Toronto/Markham performs well, so we know there’s an appetite for focused
service brands in this market.

Overall, development
interest for Tru by Hilton properties is strong for a diverse group of location
types including urban, suburban, resort, college towns and interstate
locations. We were intentional in creating a very efficient prototype so that
we could enter into a variety of different market types.

Bhulesh and Chuck Lodhia
of JM Hospitality will develop, own and operate Tru by Hilton and Home2 Suites by
Hilton Toronto Markham. They own and operate several other Hilton properties,
including the dual-branded Hampton by Hilton – Homewood Suites located right
across the street from the proposed development, and a Hilton Garden Inn –
Home2 Suites currently under construction in Brampton.

These two
brands work well together with their focus on design and value, and their
desire to provide a unique and fresh experience for guests. Tru and Home2
by Hilton are a perfect fit, filling a void in the midscale category with
options for flexible lengths of stay.

Colleen:  What is happening with the
95-room Tru by Hilton Kingston, also located in Ontario, developed by Canada
Ltd.?

Alexandra: Construction has
not yet begun on the upcoming Tru by Hilton Kingston, and it is expected to open in early 2020. 

The Kingston area is another
natural fit for Tru by Hilton. The planned property is right off Princess Street
in midtown Kingston leading into downtown, just a few blocks away from Queen’s
University.

There is a need for
properties in college towns that offer a comfortable stay at an affordable
price for all of those special times when families visit their children away at
college and want an inviting place to stay, and Tru by Hilton fills this
void. Tru is energetic and young-at-heart, yet relaxing and comfortable – a
perfect combination for families, future students and alumni seeking a unique hotel
experience.

Tru
by Hilton Kingston will be owned and operated by Ray Gupta of Sunray Hotels
Group. Gupta currently owns and operates a Hampton Inn & Suites in
Montreal, and has four other Hilton hotels in development in Canada.

As with the
other Canadian properties, this Tru by Hilton property will feature a pool, and
be built incorporating the recent prototype updates.

Colleen:  Is
Hilton looking at any future deals for Tru in Canada? What does Hilton expect the build-out to
be? How many Tru by Hilton hotels can the country accommodate?

Alexandra: The
Canadian market is ripe with opportunity for the Tru by Hilton brand. For
context, there are currently about 45 Hampton properties open in Canada, and we
expect this number to double in the coming years. We believe Tru by Hilton has
the potential to go even further than this, as there are many smaller markets
in Canada where other Hilton brands would not necessarily be a fit. Tru by
Hilton’s prototype has opened a tremendous amount of opportunity in parts of
Canada where we have previously not been able to consider expansion.

We’re seeing a strong desire for this type
of hotel in Canada and, as a result, it’s home to Tru by Hilton’s first
international development deals. We believe the next few years will see a
growth of midscale brands within Canada, with Tru by Hilton leading the pack.