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Hilton Chief Brand Officer: Tempo will be a ‘one-of-a-kind hotel’

Hilton Chief Brand Officer Matt Schuyler joins Yahoo Finance Live to discuss the company's Tempo brand, travel demand, the U.S. hotel industry, and more.

Video Transcript

[AUDIO LOGO]

BRAD SMITH: Welcome back, everyone. Hilton is looking to shake up the tourism and entertainment industry with its latest brand debut. The company launching Tempo Hotels, a lifestyle and luxury-branded hotel that will debut in none other than New York City's Times Square.

Joining us now to discuss is Hilton Chief Brand Officer Matt Schuyler. Matt, great to have you here with us this morning. This was years in the making. If I recall correctly, this was kicked around, and really announced, and talked about back in 2019, prepandemic.

Then you have to really navigate through those next two years to rework, perhaps, what the launch plan would be, when it would go to market. And so now is the time. What are you kind of looking at across some of the key performance indicators to prove whether this new brand launch is a success or not?

MATT SCHUYLER: Yeah, thanks, Brad. Great to be with you, and Julie, and Brian today. Really appreciate the opportunity to talk about this exciting development in our portfolio. This "one of a kind" hotel in the most iconic entertainment district in the world, just down the street from you, I think, the cultural center of Midtown Manhattan, TSX. And this Tempo by Hilton brand launch will present itself as part of this incredible Broadway complex.

You're right, it has been years in the making. We first set out on this journey prepandemic. Of course, like every aspect of the world, the momentum slowed down a bit. But we stayed committed to the launch of this brand in this incredible venue just outside Times Square.

And we're excited to launch this lifestyle brand of ours, which will be known for elevated and innovative stay experiences, thoughtfully designed rooms, comfortable for today's traveler, communal working zones because, of course, many people are taking their work with them when they travel now. Wellness will be a signature of this brand. Fitness centers that go with that. And we're very proud of an innovative food and beverage offering with Bluestone Lane that'll be part of this Temple by Hilton brand.

JULIE HYMAN: Yeah, we're big Bluestone Lane fans in the office. We got one across the street. I have to say, though, as a New Yorker, I try to stay as far away from Times Square as possible, Matt. But I know-- I know it's still a big tourist hub and there are lots of reasons to go there.

MATT SCHUYLER: It is.

JULIE HYMAN: So you outlined what the hotel is going to be like. Who are you looking for to stay here? Because as you said, it's got a lot of different things for different people. So who do you view as sort of the target guest for the new property?

MATT SCHUYLER: Yeah, I'll provide a little glimmer of positivity relative to the previous segments I watched in listening to you this morning. I mean, travelers are out in the world connecting again. They're wanting to be back together again. They're traveling in a combination of both work and pleasure. Sometimes referred to in our industry as "bleisure," business and leisure. And we're seeing strong postpandemic recovery in the form of travelers just wanting to get out and have experiences again.

This lifestyle brand, Temple by Hilton, is custom made for this type of traveler with a signature elements that meet the market where it wants to be met and meet these customers where they want to be met with opportunities to conduct their work while having a wellness element as part of that and being able to experience incredible venues, like Times Square.

So with our goal of serving every customer for every need and reliable and friendly stays with every experience, again, we think this brand is sort of meeting the moment relative to today's traveler in a postpandemic environment.

BRIAN SOZZI: Matt, I like how you-- the team mentions this brand in the annual report or the 10-K, it is for the modern achiever, which you know what? I think I am the modern achiever. I'm your-- I'm your target demographic. But I'll follow up--

MATT SCHUYLER: I think so, too.

BRIAN SOZZI: I'll follow up on this, Matt. What type of technology has been built into this hotel?

MATT SCHUYLER: Well, like you'd come to expect as you travel, obviously, having "state of the art" Wi-Fi and the ability to connect and conduct your life as you do now online via your portable devices, whether it be your phone, or your iPad, or your laptop, whatever the case may be. "State of the art" Wi-Fi, "state of the art" connected room elements where you can bring your content with you, showcase it in your room, and through choice and control, really control the various elements of your stay.

We've used technology to supplement the stay experience, Brian. So we want you to be able to book your hotel room online, choose the room that you want. Upon arrival, go straight to your room if you'd like using your digital device as your key. And then control all the trappings of your room while you're on property and manage your stay experience accordingly. And Temple by Hilton will allow you to do all of that.

BRAD SMITH: You know, just lastly while we have here, Matt. What goes into the decision-making process in either acquiring a brand versus building one out in-house and especially in this macro environment, the costs that would be associated with that?

MATT SCHUYLER: Well, at Hilton, we've got a great history of developing brands organically. Our competitors and others in the industry have done that, as well as acquisitions. Frankly, we've not been hugely positive on acquisitions because our history allows us to sort of anchor to the customer studies that we do that lead us to the brands that we think will meet the market where it wants to be met. So organic growth has really been our hallmark.

And to answer your question specifically, Brad, we study the market all the time and look to spaces in the market where there might not be a product that is meeting a market need. We talk to a lot of customers in the process. We talk to a lot of hotel owners in the process and try to distill where the right brand along the right element of the chain scale of all hotels would make sense. Temple by Hilton is a great example where we see opportunities in the lifestyle space to meet today's modern traveler.

JULIE HYMAN: Matt, thanks for being here to talk to us about this. Hilton Chief Brand Officer Matt Schuyler, appreciate it.

MATT SCHUYLER: Thank you, Julie. See you later.