Two Twenty-somethings Create CitiStay Hotels

. October 14, 2008

NEW YORK, NY, August 23. 2006. - New York City-based Citistay Hotels LLC today announced that it is close to completing development plans for its new low-cost, Generation X- and Y-geared hotel chain, with a flagship hotel to open early 2007 in Miami's South Beach.

"We might end up being the youngest hotel owners around," says Gregory Tubeck, 24, president and founder of Citistay Hotels. Founded in 2005, the company set out to revolutionize a stale and overpriced industry with a new brand that reflects the image and desires of Generation X and Y (the current group of travelers 18-39) who next year as a group are expected to account for over 349 million nights in hotel rooms. By combining the best in modern design, technology and a low-cost structure, management believes it will have the ability to rapidly expand into a nationally leading hotel brand.

"So many of the big hotel companies are spending millions of dollars trying to re-invent themselves and their respective brands - trying to flip a switch and have a whole different way of doing business overnight," states Tubeck. "We've promised to create a brand that's honest from the start. This is who we are, what we look like, what we want to accomplish. We are not some sub-brand hiding behind a huge corporate structure."

While plans are in the works to open the company's first hotel in Miami's South Beach, Citistay also plans locations in New York, Boston, Washington, D.C., Las Vegas, San Diego and San Francisco. At Citistay Hotels, rates will start significantly under local market value. "The airlines have become so competitive in recent years, slashing their going rates and making leisure travel very affordable. Still, the hotel industry hasn't done its part. Something is wrong with paying $69 dollars to fly to Miami, then spending $250 a night once there. It's time to start changing the way people think about travel as a whole," adds James Lewis, 24, cofounder and vice president.

In addition to value-priced rates, Citistay promises an image not normally associated with budget hotels. "We have found a way to balance a higher star rating with less associated dollar signs," explains Tubeck. The company has retained the designers of Qubed (pronounced "cubed") Design Studio in New York to help create the look and feel of the Citistay brand. "The interior spaces have been designed in a functional, simplistic and modern style. They provide private yet open spaces and focus on a consistent flow throughout. All spaces, though designed with a budget in mind, feel comfortable and luxurious," says Stephanie Kuo of Qubed Design Studio.

Citistay also has patent-pending technology, "CitiScreens," that it plans to use in its guest rooms. Tubeck points out that "CitiScreens is a communications system that we've designed that we think will really excite travelers, and provide them with the smoothest and best quality of both service and options possible."

The company also plans to change the standard way of checking in and out. "No more out by noon and in only after 3 p.m. We've got a new way of selling rooms," continues Tubeck. "We are extremely excited about our brand, and the demanding travelers of today and tomorrow will love our designs, services, and our less corporate way of thinking. Citistay truly is the new way to stay."

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Revenue Management: Getting it Right

Revenue Management has evolved into an indispensable area of hotel operations, chiefly responsible for setting forecasting and pricing strategies. Because the profession is relatively new to the hotel and hospitality industries, a clear-cut definition of what exactly Hotel Revenue Management is has only recently emerged - Selling the Right Room to the Right Client at the Right Moment at the Right Price on the Right Distribution Channel with the best commission efficiency. Though the profession can be summed up in a single sentence, that doesn't mean it's easy. In fact, it's an incredibly complicated and complex endeavor, relying on mountains of data from a wide range of sources that must be analyzed and interpreted in order to formulate concrete pricing strategies. To accomplish this, Revenue Managers rely on an array of sophisticated technology systems and software tools that generate a multitude of reports that are central to effective decision-making. As valuable as these current technology systems are, much of the information that's collected is based on past historical trends and performance. What's new is the coming of big, data-driven, predictive software and analytics, which is likely to be a game-changer for Revenue Managers. The software has the capacity to analyze all the relevant data and predict occupancy levels and room rates, maximizing hotel profitability in the process. Another new trend that some larger hotel chains are embracing is an emphasis on Booking Direct. For Revenue Managers, this is another new channel with its own sales and costs that have to be figured into the mix. The October issue of the Hotel Business Review will address these developments and document how some leading hotels are executing their revenue management strategies.