Dhe interest in architecture and design should be the bond of this new partnership. This is what the German Lindner hotel group and the American Hyatt hotel group are announcing at the real estate fair Expo Real. On the one hand a Düsseldorf family business with 31 hotels, on the other hand an American group with more than 1100 hostels. According to the Germans, the partnership is a “new chapter in the 50-year history of the Lindner Hotels”. Hyatt boss Mark Hoplamazian even raves that the pact is a kind of “marriage”.
The founders of both companies are said to have shared a passion for design decades ago. The Düsseldorf entrepreneur Otto Lindner started out as an architect before turning his ideas to the hotel industry. In California, lawyer Jay Pritzker laid the foundation for the Hyatt empire in 1957 when he purchased a motel on the outskirts of Los Angeles. He later created the Pritzker Architecture Prize, with which star architects like Norman FosterHerzog and de Meuron as well as Zaha Hadid.
The story of the two founders’ love of architecture seems like the perfect choreography for the Lindner-Hyatt alliance. The only question that remains is why the two companies only came up with the idea for the alliance decades later. This provides that initially an undisclosed sum of Hyatt flows to Lindner – for renovations in their hotels. Later, the Germans pay a kind of sales-related franchise fee if they benefit from the fact that Hyatt customers from all over the world come to their homes, explains Hoplamazian.
Corona has left its mark
However, the timing of the associated mutual declaration of love at the Munich trade fair is likely to have something to do with the Corona crisis. The turnover of Lindner-Hotels AG had more than halved during the pandemic – to almost 90 million euros in 2021. The occupancy rate fell to just 31 percent, the hotel business wrote millions in losses that had to be compensated within the Lindner family.
Lindner Hotels boss Arno Schwalie now also says that after the pandemic has been overcome, Lindner will “take off with this German-American win-win cooperation.” However, Hyatt will not buy shares in the German company. The Americans had made a total loss of more than 900 million dollars in two years of the pandemic, but in the first half of the current year there was a profit of 133 million euros again.
And as proud as Hyatt is of its 1,150 hotels in 72 countries, in Germany there are just nine. There have been big plans in this country. The Deutsche Bank double tower in Frankfurt was originally not planned as a money house, but as a Hyatt hotel. But at the beginning of the construction phase in 1980, it went to the bank. Lindner, on the other hand, has a hotel in one of Frankfurt’s towers – in a clinker high-rise in the east of the city center, with “architecture in the New York style of the 1930s,” as the company enthuses in its self-portrayal.