When news broke in December 2014 that InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) was acquiring Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, the latter’s loyalists wasted no time in sounding the alarm. “Don’t change them, don’t change anything” demanded one “heartbroken” fan. Others, decrying the “awful” news, proclaimed “the end” of the brand. Industry pundits also eagerly weighed in, with one outlet wondering whether to “love or loathe” the “bombshell” transaction.
While the acquisition itself, a $430 million all-cash deal consummated in January 2015, caught many off-guard, there’s no surprise to the impassioned reaction.
Late founder Bill Kimpton’s core philosophy of treating guests with heartfelt care and compassion has only gained in karma with consumers since he launched his affordable boutique concept in San Francisco in 1981.