February 05, 2009 // Franchising.com // Minneapolis, Minn. ---- Radisson Hotels & Resorts® today announced that 170 Radisson SAS locations operated by The Rezidor Hotel Group in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) will be changing their name to Radisson Blu.
The change is taking place because the SAS Group, former owner of Rezidor, sold the company in a public offering in November 2006, and no longer has a formal connection with the Radisson brand. Rezidor is the master franchisor of the Radisson brand in EMEA.
The new name was announced today by Kurt Ritter, president and CEO of The Rezidor Hotel Group, at the grand opening of the first Radisson Blu, the stunning new Radisson Blu Hotel at Zurich Airport in Switzerland. During the next year, the new name will be transitioned throughout the Radisson SAS portfolio in the EMEA.
The name change only applies to the 170 Radisson hotels operated by The Rezidor Hotel Group in the EMEA and does not include Radisson Edwardian Hotels in the United Kingdom or Radisson hotels operated in the Americas, Asia Pacific or other parts of the world.
The word "Blu" is a stylized, shortened version of the word "blue", derived from the blue colored box that contained the "SAS" name on the original Radisson SAS logo and signage. The new name is designed to reflect both an international style and innovative, contemporary approach to hospitality that is reflected in the Radisson SAS portfolio.
"The Rezidor Hotel Group has achieved exceptional results in distinguishing the Radisson SAS brand as a fast-growing and contemporary leader in the global hotel industry," said Jay Witzel, president and CEO of Carlson Hotels Worldwide, the parent company of Radisson Hotels & Resorts. "We expect that this legacy of success will not only continue, but will accelerate, under the distinctive new name of Radisson Blu," he added.
"We are extremely proud to hoist the Radisson Blu flag," said Kurt Ritter, president and CEO of The Rezidor Hotel Group. "After many, very successful years as Radisson SAS, we are eager to fly the exciting new Radisson Blu name on an ever growing number of destinations," he added. "As Radisson Blu, we aim to become the fastest growing, most innovative and dynamic hotel brand in the world," he added.
The Rezidor Hotel Group is the largest partner of Carlson Hotels Worldwide in the EMEA, operating the Carlson brands of Regent Hotels & Resorts; Radisson Hotels & Resorts; Park Inn and Country Inns & Suites. Carlson is also the largest single shareholder of Rezidor.
Radisson Hotels & Resorts®, one of the world's leading, full-service hotel companies, offers warm and engaging hospitality that is defined by its distinctive "Yes I Can!" service philosophy. Radisson includes more than 400 locations in 66 countries. Radisson is part of Carlson Hotels Worldwide whose other operations include Regent Hotels & Resorts; Park Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, Country Inns & Suites By CarlsonSM and Park Inn®.
Carlson Hotels Worldwide is one of the major operating groups of Carlson (carlson.com), a global leader in providing marketing, travel and hospitality services. Other names among the Carlson family of brands and services are: Carlson Marketing, Carlson Wagonlit Travel®, T.G.I. Friday's® and Pick Up Stix® restaurants. Carlson corporate headquarters are in Minneapolis, Minn.
The Rezidor Hotel Group, based in Brussels, is one of the fastest growing hotel companies in the world. The group features a portfolio of more than 360 hotels in operation and under development with over 76,000 rooms in 55 countries. Rezidor operates the brands Radisson SAS Hotels & Resorts, Regent Hotels & Resorts, Park Inn and Country Inns & Suites in Europe, Middle East and Africa. Carlson is the largest single shareholder in Rezidor.