ZMC Hotels is in the planning stage to bring an entirely different kind of hotel to Sebring, Florida. The company has submitted a franchise application for Tru, a contemporary, amenities-driven brand recently launched by Hilton, that is adding new energy to the mid-priced market. The planned development site is in a prime location overlooking Lake Jackson, and directly adjacent the existing Residence Inn by Marriott, also owned and managed by ZMC Hotels. Although still in the design phase — working with the City of Sebring and the Southwest Florida Water Management District, and awaiting franchise approval — ZMC Hotels expects to break ground in early 2017, to be open in time for the peak travel season in 2018.
Because The Residence Inn Sebring is so highly rated, number six among all Residence Inn locations in the U.S., with both high occupancy and high guest satisfaction ratings, ZMC Hotels first looked at other Marriott Brands when deciding on a franchise for the new development.
“It was important that we didn’t end up with two hotels that would be in direct competition with each other, vying for the same customer base,” said Todd Torvinen, Vice President of Brand and Asset Management at ZMC Hotels. “Instead, we saw this as an opportunity to bring in something unprecedented, that would attract new visitors to the Sebring-Lake Jackson area.”
Tru promises a “fun, fresh, and functional” approach to the hotel experience, and is aimed at the value-conscious traveler. Centered around “The Hive”, an expansive, multi-functional lobby featuring a 24-hour marketplace and separate zones for eating, lounging, playing, and working, each Tru hotel is designed to offer the amenities and high tech features that appeal most to millennials and other travelers, all in a clean, colorful, contemporary style. With approximately 150 hotels under contract, and 300 more in the development pipeline across the United States, Tru is one of the fastest brands to gain momentum in the marketplace.
“We’re excited to be among the first to launch this new brand,” Torvinen said. “We believe it will be a great complement to our Residence Inn and provide an attractive alternative for travelers who normally wouldn’t stay in Sebring.”
Separate from the Tru development, ZMC Hotels is also in the design phase to develop a stand-alone recreation plaza between the new Tru hotel and the Residence Inn. When complete, the Little Jackson Event Gazebo will be the premier destination in Sebring for meetings, weddings, and other events, featuring approximately 3,500 square feet of enclosed space, a catering kitchen, and an attached boat dock on Lake Jackson.