Virgin to Launch Hotel Brand

After months of hinting, including by Chairman Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Group announced it is launching VirginHotels, a new four-star hotel brand.

The first property is expected to open in an unnamed major gateway city in North America within the next 18 months. On its website, Virgin Hotels says it has initially targeted cities including New York, San Francisco, Miami, Los Angeles, Boston and Washington D.C.

The plan is to acquire $500 million of Virgin-branded hotel assets in the next three years, and open 25 hotels in seven years. The initial focus is North America but there are also plans for expansion globally.

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