Just because Dolce International has rebranded itself as Dolce Hotels and Resorts doesn’t mean that Dolce is turning its back on its conference center heritage—or its corporate customers.
“Far from it,” says Andy Dolce, the company’s chairman and managing director. “All of our properties are members of IACC [The International Association of Conference Centers] and we will continue to support IACC.” Instead, Dolce says, the company’s new strategy is to reposition Dolce properties as full-service hotels and resorts.
According to Dolce, a number of focus groups of Dolce customers and noncustomers over the past year determined that while established Dolce customers “raved about us and what we do, noncustomers were confused about our identity and typically don’t go to conference centers for their meetings.
“Since about 90 percent of meeting business goes to hotels and resorts, this [the rebrand] is an opportunity to position ourselves for that kind of business.”
Along with the new name and logo, Dolce is also reorganizing its portfolio of 24 properties into two divisions—hotels and resorts, and conference hotels. The company is also investing $100 million in improvements to upgrade its properties and bring them in line with its new brand standards. These include more spa amenities, restaurants, a new culinary program, upgraded beds and linens, and high-definition televisions.
The move also should help the company attract more transient business, both corporate and leisure. “Our focus has always been on group business—we really haven’t put too much emphasis on transient business to fill our weekends,” Dolce says. “Our mix has usually been about 80 percent meetings and 20 percent transient. We would like to get that to 70-30.”