AFTER ADDING 50 new hotels to its ranks since launching two years ago, executives at the Tru by Hilton brand decided to celebrate with a Connect 4 Tournament. They also created an event that will benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of America in coming years.
The inaugural tournament, hosted by entertainer Lance Bass at Tru by Hilton Salt Lake City Airport last month. Hotel guests, local residents and members of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Salt Lake participated in the games in the hotel’s lobby in keeping with a common use of Tru lobbies around the country. Most of the hotels provide board games it guests to encourage social interaction.
Tru and Connect 4 owner Hasbro provided more than 150 board games for the event.
“Tru by Hilton is a fun brand with a lot of energy, and it’s clear how the hotel lobby is helping create connections,” Bass said. “Travel for me is all about the people I meet along the way.”
The new partnership with Boys & Girls Club of America is part of Tru’s corporate responsibility strategy, Travel with Purpose, which aims to double the company’s social impact by 2030.
Tru expects most of its pipeline of more than 300 locations, totaling over 30,000 rooms, to open by 2021. “The Tru Connections event celebrates our remarkable growth while encouraging even more connections in our vibrant, energetic social spaces where guests want to be,” said Tru global head Alexandra Jaritz.
Champion Hotels of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, founded by Champak Patel, opened the first Tru in Oklahoma City last year.
In May, Hilton released several design “refinements” to guestrooms and public spaces for the relatively new midscale brand. It also added hot breakfast offerings and added protein to its build-your-own buffet bar following suggestions from a team of owners, builders and guests.
One of Tru’s original selling points was the relatively low cost of development, around $85,000 a key. However, the increased cost of construction has significantly upped the level of investment, and when Aman Patel and his team of investors opened their Tru in McDonough, Georgia, in July, he noted the FF&E cost more than expected.
“As a new brand with a ‘disruptive’ strategy, we felt the need to evolve faster and better than most,” Jaritz said in a recent statement. “We heard from owners and guests that we had nearly all things right with the Tru by Hilton concept. But, as with any new product, we needed to make a few adjustments, which have proven during beta tests to be overwhelmingly popular with our guests and owners.”