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The deals hotel brands and building owners are making now — as opposed to those made in 2007 — are much more likely to be sensible and sustainable for everyone, and allow properties enough wiggle room to improve things for guests.
The Essex House is not alone changing its brand affiliation. As the recession has eased and hotel occupancy rates have improved, hotel owners have been increasingly changing their affiliations from one brand to a competitor’s — what is known in the industry as reflagging.
According to statistics from Smith Travel Research, a research firm in Henderson, Tenn., nearly 2,500 hotels were reflagged in 2011. While that represents just a 5 percent sliver of all hotel properties in the United States, it was still a 39 percent increase from 2010.