Hotel Beat

New York on the Radar as Peabody Hotels Looks National

The owner and operator of the The Peabody hotel in Memphis is looking to take its brand—ducks and all—national and a New York City location is on the company’s radar.

“We would love to be in New York—anybody would love to be in New York—and I think it’s a realistic possibility,” Douglas Browne, president of the newly established Peabody Hotels & Resorts, told Commercial Observer.

Peabody_Ducks

The March of the Peabody Ducks at the hotel’s original Memphis location.

Rather than developing a new hotel or acquiring an existing property, Peabody is looking to partner with a hotel owner. A number of historic hotels in New York fit the company’s criteria for a potential partnership, according to Mr. Browne.

“We’re not for everybody, we’re for that unique hotel that maybe is missing a bit of brand awareness or experiencing a bit of identity loss,” Mr. Browne noted. “By bringing the Peabody and our culture, we think we could add extra oomph to a unique brand.”

The Peabody brand is perhaps best known for the Peabody Ducks, a twice daily red carpet march of Mallard ducks to the hotel’s unique lobby fountain.  Previously, Peabody operated hotels in Little Rock and Orlando, though both properties were sold last year.

Craig Smith, who was recently promoted to vice president of brand development, has been tasked with identifying potential partners for the Peabody brand. The company recently attended the American Lodging Investment Summit in Los Angeles and plans to attend the International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference in New York this coming June.

Peabody has received calls of interest from owners in Los Angeles and Miami and press speculation has already linked the brand with Nashville and St. Louis. Mr. Browne concedes, however, the Southeast is the most likely region for expansion.

“Second tier markets like Charleston, New Orleans and Nashville would be perfect for us,” he said. “The Southeast is our backyard, so it makes sense that we would search there. We’re not limiting ourselves to the Southeast, but they know us the best.”

Follow Gus Delaporte via RSS. gdelaporte@observer.com