AccorHotels announced last week that it signed an agreement to acquire 85 percent of 21c Museum Hotels, the 12-year-old hospitality management company pushing boundaries when it comes to hospitality experiences.
21c hotels currently has 11 properties open or under development across the U.S. Each offers a unique trifecta that combines a boutique hotel, contemporary art museum and chef-driven restaurant. Louisville, Ky.-based philanthropists and contemporary art collectors Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson developed the concept with the belief that art could spark urban development.
Case in point: The duo revitalized several 19th century warehouses in Louisville’s downtown arts and theater district to open the first 21c Museum Hotel. Since then, seven others have opened in Bentonville, Ark.; Cincinnati; Durham, N.C.; Kansas City, Mo.; Lexington, Ky.; Nashville, Tenn.; and Oklahoma City. Plus, three more are under development in Des Moines, Iowa; Miami; and Chicago. 21c Museum is especially noteworthy as having one of the largest contemporary art museums in the U.S. and as North America’s only collecting museum dedicated specifically to 21st century art.
Once the acquisition is completed (during the third quarter of 2018), 21c Museum Hotels will join AccorHotels’ MGallery collection of boutique hotels, which will introduce the MGallery brand to the North American market.
“AccorHotels is one of the world’s leading hotel operators and will be a perfect partner and catalyst for 21c’s continued growth,” says Wilson. “We are confident that the unique spirit of 21c will not only be preserved, but will flourish within the MGallery collection of boutique hotels. 21c will continue to bring the work of today’s most dynamic and engaging contemporary artists to the public.”
President and CEO Craig Greenberg will continue to lead 21c Museum Hotels, and its headquarters will stay in Louisville.