Why Are So Many NYC Hotels Tweaking Their Names?

Is the hottest New York hotel amenity a new name?

Consider: In recent months Stay morphed into Night Times Square (never mind that the original Night Hotel is just two blocks away). And the Sheraton New York Hotel & Tower changed its name to Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel (never mind that it’s not all that close to Times Square).

This week comes the news that the Hilton New York is now the New York Hilton-Midtown.

The new moniker marks a return to the name founder Conrad Hilton bestowed on his fledgling property in 1963 – New York Hilton Rockefeller Center, according to hotel general manager Mark Lauer. Only it’s not quite  because Rockefeller Center and Midtown, while close, aren’t precisely synonymous.

Whatever. The Hilton’s new name follows the trend of grafting locations onto hotel names. As chain hotels proliferate, this makes sense. There are a lot of Hiltons – and Sheratons and Andazes and Marriotts and Holiday Inns — around town. Specifying a neighborhood is helpful (there’s a big geographic difference between Aloft Brooklyn and Aloft Harlem and the W New York Times Square and W New York Downtown).

Hilton management, it seems, agrees. “The reference to midtown in the new name provides the hotel with a locator for guests and helps to identify the neighborhood where the hotel is situated, which is extremely important to both business and leisure travelers visiting New York City,” Lauer says.

The downside of locators is their length. Reciting TRYP New York Times Square South to a cab driver is a mouthful. So is Residence Inn New York Manhattan/Times Square.

All told, New York Hilton-Midtown is hardly a tongue twister. The question now is how long will the new name stick?




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