Luxury hotel company Four Seasons, now majority-owned by Bill Gates' Cascade Investments, has big plans afoot for 2022.
The brand plans to open four new properties in North America, keying into secondary cities and vacation markets -- Fort Lauderdale, Nashville, Minneapolis and Tamarindo, Mexico -- for its latest round of expansion. Those openings continue Four Seasons' 2021 strategy, which stood up properties in Napa Valley, Calif., New Orleans and Taormina, Italy.
While the luxury market draws a niche crowd from business travel, Four Seasons seems to be concentrating many of its efforts elsewhere. In addition to secondary cities and vacation locations, the company's residential properties will take a front seat in 2022, with standalone residential communities -- i.e. those not connected to an anchoring hotel -- key for the company in the coming years.
Global business development and portfolio management president Bart Carnahan said in a statement, "Our residential business in particular is a key pillar in our growth plans, with a five-year pipeline of $7 billion in gross sales value comprising more than 30 projects worldwide."
Those properties will include locations in Middle East (Dubai), North America (Lake Austin, Texas) and Africa (Marrakech, Morocco). New-build residential properties will join anchor hotels in Fort Lauderdale, Minneapolis, Nashville, Mumbai, Cartagena and Belize.
The company has 50 total projects underway or in the pipeline.
In addition to property expansion, Four Seasons is looking at a digitization overhaul in 2022 to support its efforts to deliver personalized luxury service. The company said it will optimize its customer relationship management platform in 2022 and also will introduce new mobile app and chat features to include mobile key and mobile payments, as well as enhancements to the digital experience at restaurants and bars.
Source: Business Travel News