Thursday, May 11, 2017

Tru by Hilton Plans to Check Into Lawrenceville: McDonough, Too

New boutique hotel planned for Lawrenceville. 

Tru by Hilton, a newly launched boutique hotel, is planned for an outparcel of Sugarloaf Mills in Lawrenceville.  The hotel would be situated on North Brown Road, behind Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World. Plans for the project suggest the limited service hotel will have four floors and a total of 97 guest rooms with an outdoor patio.

The hotel is being opened by Atul Patel of Alpharetta-based Panorama Hotels.  A Tru hotel spokesperson indicated the hotel is projected to open in 2019, but local sources indicate it may open as soon as next year.  

The first Tru opened this past month near the Oklahoma City airport.  

The Sugarloaf Mills and Infinite Energy Arena (formerly The Arena at Gwinnett Center) market has seen renewed interest from hotel developers in recent years.  

This past January, Kana Hotel Group opened a new, 166 room Embassy Suites by Hilton Atlanta NE Gwinnett Sugarloaf on Satellite Boulevard near the arena.  As I reported previously, the hotel was delayed multiple times, but finally started construction in 2015.  

Not far from the Embassy Suites, two Marriott branded hotels, a Courtyard and a Residence Inn, opened as part of the Sugarloaf Centre development.  

Chattanooga-based Vision Hospitality Group, Inc. opened the 115 room Courtyard this past spring.  The Residence Inn opened a few years ago and has 112 guest rooms. (When I called the hotel, they stated they had 622 guest rooms, and upon my requested verification, stood by their astronomical and wildly inaccurate number.)  

According to the site-plan for the Sugarloaf Centre property, there is a third hotel proposed, which sources indicate may be an Aloft.  Aloft, previously marketed as "A Vision of W Hotels," is a boutique brand from Starwood Property Group which last year was purchased by Marriott International.  

At its launch last year by McLean, Virginia-based Hilton Worldwide, Tru was described as being unlike any other hotel brand.

"Pairing a stringent focus on operational efficiency with thoughtful innovation, Tru by Hilton is more than just a place to sleep, it's a true travel experience designed to deliver a strong value proposition for owners and guests. The brand will appeal to a broad range of travelers who span generations but think alike; they are united by a millennial mindset - a youthful energy, a zest for life and a desire for human connection. No brand is meeting their needs in their price point today."

In many ways the Tru brand seems similar to aloft or Marriott's new millennial focus brand Moxy, which was launched in 2014 and currently has seven properties open.    

The release further detailed the the Tru's future pipeline: 

"Hilton Worldwide already has 102 hotels signed and an additional 30 hotels in various stages of approval in cities including Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Chicago, Denver, Portland and Nashville."

According to a Tru spokesperson with whom I corresponded in preparation for this post, there are "25 Trus under construction in the US, with 220 Trus by Hilton approved and an additional 200 in various stages of approval."  

The other Georgia hotel, in McDonough, near the South Point shopping center, is expected to be the second property to open, and according to its website is taking reservations for arrivals on or after July 1st.  

Are you excited at the prospect of more hotel options in the Sugarloaf area?  What is your favorite hotel brand?  What one feature or amenity is most important to you when selecting a hotel at which to stay?

Please share your thoughts below.  

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