Red Roof launches soft brand Red Collection

The St. Clair Hotel has a tentative opening scheduled for 2018.

Red Roof launched The Red Collection, the first soft brand in the company's 44-year history, with the opening of the first property, The St. Clair Hotel in downtown Chicago.

After conducting consumer research, Red Roof research found that today's upscale economy travelers are not looking for hotels that are identified as "trendy" or "hip"—which they equate with expensive and fleeting. Instead travelers are looking for modern, accessible and affordable properties in accessible, desirable locations. The Red Collection is a portfolio of upscale economy to midscale unique hotels that are local and draw inspiration from the culture of the city centers in which they are located.

"There is already core equity in Red Roof," Andrew Alexander, president of Red Roof said in a statement. "Building on our strong brand base, this is a perfect time to grow our portfolio with our first soft brand, The Red Collection. In today's environment, soft brands allow companies to enter new channels, expand business models and meet specific demands of the new traveler. The Red Collection will give our existing guests unique, more upscale value options while enticing new guests to experience our brand in a new way in the hearts of cities they love."

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Red Roof's research found that the majority of guests in the upscale economy segment are willing to pay between an extra 10 and 50 dollars per stay for enhanced amenities and loyalty incentives. Additionally, the top three drivers of hotel consideration were affordable rates, proximity to local activities and attractions and free Wi-Fi. Consumers even cared more about those attributes than free breakfast. The Red Collection, and its first property, The St. Clair Hotel, is designed to meet those needs.

"Our research was eye-opening and instructional," Marina MacDonald, chief marketing officer at Red Roof, said in a statement. "Listening to guest feedback and translating those thoughts, ideas and expression into real world action is already a hallmark of Red Roof. We did the same with this research; it allowed us to parlay traveler responses into the introduction of The Red Collection. We have created a new city center hotel experience, one that is notably different from the traditional Red Roof location but still offers the value that consumers demand."

Tentatively scheduled to open in 2018 at the corner of St. Clair and Ontario, The St. Clair Hotel is the first of many future properties in The Red Collection portfolio. The St. Clair Hotel allows guests to stay in a modern hotel with décor and amenities they would expect from a major city hotel, but at an affordable rate. The mood is set in the hotel's lobby, which include plush high tops, outlets for multiple devices and network connectivity. Every guestroom includes upgraded bedding, spa-inspired bathrooms with multi-flow showerheads and complimentary Seattle's Best Coffee.

The St. Clair Hotel will also uphold existing Red Roof guest initiatives, including Fast. Free. Verified. Wi-Fi, a pet-friendly policy at no additional cost and participation in RediCard, while offering guests an economic rate so they can save money for experiencing the shopping, dining and sightseeing of Chicago. The hotel sits one block from the Magnificent Mile, Chicago's destination for shopping and dining, and is also near the city's historic Water Tower and the Chicago River. Upcoming plans for The St. Clair Hotel include a fine dining restaurant in the lobby, scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2018.

Other cities being considered for The Red Collection are New York, Las Vegas, Charlotte and Austin.