Hilton Worldwide

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Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc.
FormerlyHilton Hotels Corporation (1919–2009)
Company typePublic
IndustryHospitality
FoundedMay 31, 1919; 104 years ago (1919-05-31), in Cisco, Texas
FounderConrad Hilton
Headquarters,
U.S.
Number of locations
Increase 7,530 (2023)
Area served
Worldwide
Key people
Products
RevenueIncrease US$10.2 billion (2023)
Increase US$2.22 billion (2023)
Decrease US$1.15 billion (2023)
Total assetsDecrease US$15.4 billion (2023)
Total equityDecrease US$−2.3 billion (2023)
Number of employees
Increase 178,000 (2023)
Websitehilton.com
Footnotes / references
[1][2][3][4]

Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. is an American multinational hospitality company that manages and franchises a broad portfolio of hotels, resorts, and timeshare properties. Founded by Conrad Hilton in May 1919, the company is now led by Christopher J. Nassetta. Hilton is headquartered in Tysons, Virginia, United States.

As of December 31, 2023, the company's portfolio includes 7,530 properties (including timeshare properties) with 1,182,937 rooms in 118 countries and territories. Hilton owns or leases 51 properties, manages 800 properties, and franchises out 6,679 properties to independent franchisees or companies.[5]

Hilton has 22 brands across different market segments, including Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Canopy by Hilton, Curio, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, DoubleTree by Hilton, Embassy Suites by Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton by Hilton, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home2 Suites by Hilton, Hilton Grand Vacations Club, Hilton Vacation Club, Hilton Club, LXR Hotels and Resorts by Hilton, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Signia by Hilton, Tru by Hilton, Tapestry Collection by Hilton, Tempo by Hilton, Motto by Hilton, and Spark by Hilton.

On December 12, 2013, Hilton again became a public company, raising an estimated $2.35 billion in its second IPO.[6] At the time, Blackstone Inc. held a 45.8 percent stake in the company.[7] In October 2016, China's HNA Group agreed to acquire a 25 percent equity interest in Hilton from Blackstone. The transaction was expected to close in the first quarter of 2017.[8][9][10] Hilton's largest stockholders were until mid-2018 HNA Group, Blackstone, and Wellington Management Company, which as of March 2017 owned 25%, 15.2%, and 6.7% of Hilton common stock respectively.[11]

The company was founded by Conrad Hilton in 1919 as Hilton Hotels Corporation in Cisco, Texas, and it had its headquarters in Beverly Hills, California, from 1969 until 2009. In August 2009, the company moved to Tysons Corner, unincorporated Fairfax County, Virginia, near McLean.[12][13][14]

History[edit]

In 1919, Conrad Hilton purchased his first hotel, the 40-room Mobley Hotel in Cisco, Texas, and bought additional Texas hotels as the years passed.[15]

In 1925, the Dallas Hilton became the first hotel to use the Hilton name.[15] In 1927, Hilton expanded to Waco, Texas,[16] where he opened the first hotel with air-conditioning in public areas and cold running water.[17][18][19]

In 1943, Hilton assumed management of the Roosevelt Hotel and purchased the Plaza Hotel, both well-established high-end luxury hotels less than a mile apart in New York City's Midtown Manhattan neighborhood. With this pair of acquisitions, Hilton established the first hospitality company to span the contiguous United States.[20]

The company was incorporated in 1946 as the Hilton Hotels Corporation and subsequently began public trading of shares on the New York Stock Exchange.[21][22][23] In 1947, the Roosevelt Hotel became the first hotel in the world to have televisions in its rooms.[24]

In 1947, Hilton assumed management of the Palacio Hilton hotel in Chihuahua, Mexico, which became the chain's first international property. That same year, they assumed management of four hotels on the island of Bermuda.[25]

Hilton International was founded as a wholly-owned subsidiary in 1948,[26] just before the 1949 opening of the Caribe Hilton Hotel in Puerto Rico.[27] Barman Ramon "Monchito" Marreno claimed he created the piña colada cocktail at this resort.[28][23] Hilton purchased The Waldorf-Astoria in New York in the same year.[29][30]

In 1953, Hilton opened its first hotel in Europe, the Castellana Hilton in Madrid, Spain.[31]

The Hotels Statler Company was acquired in 1954 for $111 million in what was then the world's most expensive real estate transaction.[32] One year later, Hilton created the world's first central reservations office, titled "HILCRON". The reservations team in 1955 consisted of eight members on staff booking reservations for any of Hilton's then 28 hotels. Reservations agents used the "availability board" to track records. The chalkboard measured 30 feet (9.1 m) by 6 feet (1.8 m) and allowed HILCRON to make over 6,000 reservations in 1955.[33] Bookings could be made for any Hilton via telephone, telegram, or Teletype.

Later in 1955, Hilton launched a program to ensure every hotel room would include air conditioning.[34]

In late 1955, Hilton opened the Istanbul Hilton, the first post–World War II property in Istanbul, Turkey.[34][35]

Hilton is credited with pioneering the airport hotel concept with the opening of the Hilton Inn at San Francisco International Airport in 1959.[36]

International expansion continued in this era. In 1957, Hilton assumed management of its first hotel in Central America, the El Panama Hilton in Panama City, Panama. In 1958, Hilton opened its first hotel in Canada, Queen Elizabeth in Montreal, Quebec.[37] In 1959, Hilton opened its first hotel in Africa, the Nile Hilton in Cairo, Egypt.[38] In 1960, Hilton opened its first hotel in Oceania, the Chevron Hilton in Sydney, Australia.[39] In 1961, Hilton assumed management of its first hotel in South America, the Hotel Carrera in Santiago, Chile. In 1963, Hilton opened its first hotels in Asia, the Hong Kong Hilton and the Tokyo Hilton, and its first hotel in the Middle East, the Royal Tehran Hilton.[40]

In 1965, Hilton launched Lady Hilton, the first hotel concept created specifically for women guests.[41] To appeal to female travelers, many properties offered floors occupied by only women along with distinct amenities for their usage.[42][43]

The iconic Hilton hotel logo, which features the stylized "H" in a circle, was created in 1969 by the legendary graphic designer Saul Bass. Bass was also responsible for designing logos for other well-known brands, including AT&T, United Airlines, and the Girl Scouts of the USA.[44]

In 1969, the first DoubleTree Hotel opened. However, Hilton was not affiliated with the brand until it acquired the parent company in 1999.[45][46]

Hilton purchased the Flamingo Las Vegas in 1970,[47][48] which would become the first in the domestic gaming business to be listed on the NYSE.[49]

In 1977, Hilton International opened its first property behind the "Iron Curtain" in Communist Europe, the Budapest Hilton.[50]

In 1979, founder Conrad Hilton died at the age of 91.[51] Hilton Hotels Corporation later created the Conrad Hotels brand in honor of Hilton.[52]

Hilton Honors (formerly Hilton HHonors), the company's guest loyalty program, was initiated in 1987.[53] In 1994, the Honors surpassed competing hotel loyalty programs by offering members both hotel credit points and airline credit miles.[54][55]

The company has been a sponsor of the United States Olympic Team.[56][57]

Two chains with one name[edit]

The company spun off its international operations into a separately traded company on December 1, 1964, known as "Hilton International Co." It was acquired in 1967 by Trans World Corp., the holding company for Trans World Airlines. In 1986, it was sold to UAL Corp., the holding company for United Airlines, which became Allegis Corp. in an attempt to re-incarnate itself as a full-service travel company, encompassing Westin Hotels and Hertz rental cars in addition to Hilton International and United Airlines. In 1987, after a corporate putsch, the renamed UAL Corp. sold Hilton International to Ladbroke Group plc, a British leisure and gambling company, which, in May 1999, adopted the name "Hilton Group plc."[58]

The former Hilton Hotels Corporation headquarters in Beverly Hills, California

As a result, there were two separate, fully independent companies operating hotels under the Hilton name. Those Hilton Hotels outside the U.S. were, until 2006, styled as "Hilton International" hotels. Because the two chains were contractually forbidden to operate hotels in the other's territory under the Hilton name, for many years hotels run by Hilton International in the U.S. were called Vista International Hotels, while hotels operated by the American arm of Hilton outside the U.S. were named Conrad Hotels.[59]

In 1997, to minimize longtime consumer confusion, the American and British Hilton companies adopted a joint marketing agreement under which they shared the same logos, promoted each other's brands, and maintained joint reservation systems. At that point, the Vista chain was phased out, while Conrad has been restyled as one of the luxury brands of Hilton (along with the Waldorf-Astoria Collection) and operates hotels within the U.S. as well as abroad.

In 1971, Hilton acquired International Leisure Company, including the Las Vegas Hilton and Flamingo Hilton.[60]

In 1998, Hilton spun off its gambling operations into a separate, publicly held company called Park Place Entertainment (later Caesars Entertainment, Inc.)[61]

In 1999, Hilton acquired Promus Hotel Corporation, which included the DoubleTree, Red Lion, Embassy Suites, Hampton Inn, and Homewood Suites brands.[62]

21st century[edit]

In 2001, Hilton agreed to sell Red Lion to WestCoast Hospitality.[63]

On December 29, 2005, Hilton Hotels Corporation agreed to re-acquire the Hilton International chain from its British owner, Hilton Group plc, for £3.3 billion ($5.71 billion). As well as bringing the two Hilton companies back together as a single entity, this deal also included Hilton plc properties operating as Conrad Hotels, Scandic Hotels, and LivingWell Health Clubs.[64] On February 23, 2006, the deal closed, making Hilton Hotels the world's fifth-largest hotel operator in number of rooms.[65] Scandic Hotels was sold the next year on March 1 to EQT Partners.[66]

Christopher J. Nassetta, Hilton Worldwide President and CEO, in 2004

On July 3, 2007, Hilton Hotels Corp. agreed to an all-cash buyout from the Blackstone Group LP in a $26 billion (including debt) deal that would make Blackstone the world's largest hotel owner.[67] At $47.50 per share, the buyout price was 32 percent higher than the closing value of a share of Hilton stock on July 3.[68] The deal was the culmination of a year of on and off discussions with Blackstone.[69] In October 2007, Christopher J. Nassetta was appointed president and chief executive officer of Hilton.[70] In February 2009, Hilton Hotels Corp. announced that its headquarters were moving from Beverly Hills, California to Fairfax County, Virginia.[71]

While Blackstone saw an opportunity to streamline the company and push Hilton's expansion overseas when Blackstone pursued Hilton in 2006 and 2007, the buyout saddled the company with $20 billion of debt just as the economy was turning down. The debt had very liberal terms, so there was no danger of default, but when travel slowed, the company suffered. In April 2010, Hilton and Blackstone restructured the debt. Blackstone invested a further $800 million of equity and the debt was reduced to $16 billion.[72]

Hilton returned to being a public company on December 12, 2013. This second IPO in the company's history raised an estimated $2.35 billion.[73] The Blackstone Group retained a 45.8% stake in the company.[7]

The company announced in February 2016 that Hilton would turn its hotel holdings into a real estate investment trust. Prior to making the announcement, the company went to the IRS for approval.[74]

In February 2016, Hilton announced its intention to spin off its timeshare and real estate businesses, creating three independent public companies.[75] The spin-offs of Park Hotels & Resorts and Hilton Grand Vacations were completed in January 2017.[76] As of 2018, the company is a fully independent publicly traded company (just like in the pre-buyout days) after the exits of Blackstone and HNA.[77]

The purpose of the 2017 spin-off of Hilton Grand Vacations and Park Hotels & Resorts from Hilton Worldwide into separate companies was to transform Hilton Worldwide into an asset-light company, making it more efficient for its shareholders due to it having less capital investments. This means that following the spin-offs, Hilton Worldwide now mainly owns the Hilton brands and not the majority of the physical properties that bear the Hilton name, meaning that it is not responsible for their operation or real estate costs, thus driving up their profits and shareholder value. This also means that Hilton shareholders can now choose which aspects of the brand they want to put their investments behind, and it allows for each individual area of the Hilton brand to focus on its specific area of business and grow more quickly. Following the spin-offs, Hilton Grand Vacations and Parks Hotels & Resorts now act in a very similar fashion to the franchise companies that own and operate the majority of Hilton Worldwide's hotel brands. This allows Hilton Worldwide to focus on its brand without incurring the majority of the capital investments and expenses that come with operations and real estate.

On April 3, 2024, Hilton announced its acquisition of a majority controlling interest in Sydell Group, the owner of NoMad Hotels, aiming to expand the luxury lifestyle brand with up to 100 new NoMad hotels globally.[78]

Brands[edit]

Hilton Worldwide owns 22 hotel and resort brands that cover a variety of areas in the hospitality sector. Hilton's business model for its various brands is based on largely on franchising rather than direct ownership and management of properties. Hilton Worldwide has full ownership of the hotel and resort brands as well as the intellectual property associated with them, however the vast majority of Hilton branded properties are not owned and operated by Hilton, instead they are independently owned and operated by independent franchisees or hospitality companies. [79]

Luxury[edit]

Upper Upscale[edit]

Upscale[edit]

Upper Midscale[edit]

Midscale[edit]

Economy[edit]

Long-Stay[edit]

  • LivSmart by Hilton

Timeshare[edit]

Franchising[edit]

As of February 2024, 6,679 of Hilton's 7,530 hotels and timeshare resorts worldwide are owned and operated by independent franchisees or companies and not by Hilton Worldwide itself, this includes Hilton Grand Vacations which was a division of Hilton Worldwide until it was spun off into a separate company to act as a franchisee for Hilton's timeshare brands. Through this franchising model Hilton Worldwide owns the Hilton hotel and resort brands along with the Intellectual property associated with them, but does own or operate the physical hotels and resorts that bear those brand names. Additionally, Hilton Worldwide does not employ the staff that works at these franchised properties, instead the staff are employed by the independent franchisees or companies. The practice of franchising means that Hilton Worldwide is not responsible for the operational costs, real estate costs, maintenance costs, staff wages, and other costs that they would be if they were the ones owning and operating the properties, instead the independent franchisee or company incurs those costs. Hilton Worldwide profits from the franchisees through franchise fees, licensing fees, and agreements which give Hilton Worldwide a certain percentage the income. In order to utilize the Hilton brands, the independent franchisees and companies must follow strict brand standards to maintain a licensing agreement with Hilton Worldwide.[82] The franchise model makes Hilton Worldwide a more profitable company along with increasing its value for shareholders due to it having less capital and being able to focus more on its brand. Many of Hilton's flagship properties, airport properties, and largest resorts, however, are corporately managed.

Hilton Honors[edit]

Hilton Honors (formerly Hilton HHonors) is Hilton's guest loyalty program, through which frequent guests can accumulate points and airline miles by staying within the Hilton portfolio. The program is one of the largest of its type, with approximately 120 million members.[83] There are four levels of elite status within the Hilton Honors program including Member, Silver, Gold, and Diamond. Hilton points average a value of .372¢ each.[84]

Hilton renamed the Hilton HHonors program to Hilton Honors in February 2017.[85]

Corporate affairs[edit]

The company has its headquarters in Tysons, Virginia, and an operations center in Memphis. Its Asia-Pacific operations are managed out of Singapore, its Middle East and Africa operations are managed out of Dubai, and its European operations are based in Watford, UK.[86]

In Türkiye, IC Holding,Sabancı Holding and Aksoy Holding was place in Operations.

Sidenote: IC Holding also calls Hilton Istanbul Bomonti, Bomonti Int. Congress center.

Sidenote 2: Two of Hiltons, In Adana and Ankara, Called HiltonSA, Referring Sabancı Holding.

Company culture[edit]

According to Careerbliss.com, Hilton ranked first in the list of "2012 Happiest Companies in America", with a score of 4.36 out of 5.[87] The survey looked at job reviews from more than 100,000 employees, with such characteristics life as work-life balance, company culture and reputation, and the relationships employees have with their bosses.[88] Hilton has scored 100% on the Corporate Equality Index each year from 2014 to 2017.[89]

In 2016, Hilton was named one of the "World's 25 Best Multinational Workplaces" by Fortune and Great Place to Work.[90][91][92] In 2017, Fortune ranked Hilton number 26 in their list of "The 100 Best Companies to Work For".[93][94] In 2019, Fortune ranked Hilton number 1 in their list of "The 100 Best Companies to Work For".[95]

Gallery[edit]

Hilton in popular culture[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]

  • Official website
  • Business data for Hilton Worldwide: