The collection includes a number of hotels selected by Hilton based on their characteristics and influence in the town where they are located.
The Franklin Hotel will be added to the collection on Dec. 2, but it will still be privately owned and the staff won’t change.
Jay Patel, co-owner of The Franklin Hotel, said he is excited to be included and that the hotel will implement some of Hilton’s programs and business ideas, like the Hilton rewards program.
“This is a collection, so it’s not a full conversion to one of the Hilton brands,” Patel said. “We’re going to join a collection of independent hotels around the country.”
Chapel Hill Town Council member Lee Storrow said The Franklin Hotel has already benefited the Chapel Hill community, and he said he is excited for its selection into Hilton’s collection.
“Partnerships like this provide new marketing channels to a hotel property like The Franklin, and that’s a positive thing,” he said.
He said having the hotel promoted by Hilton while staying independent will be good for the local economy.
“I think The Franklin Hotel has been a very successful economic engine for downtown,” Storrow said.
“It brings people into downtown who then eat at restaurants and shop at local businesses.”
Since The Franklin Hotel is not part of a chain and does not have a long legacy, Patel said the hotel is trying to find ways to reach people and strengthen its reputation, which is why its owners applied for the Curio Collection.
“As an independent hotel, we have a nice local awareness,” he said. “It was really to gain better support from a larger marketing standpoint.”
Patel said once a hotel is selected for the Curio Collection, it must pay a franchise royalty fee.
Dianna Vaughan, global head of the Curio brand, said each member of the collection is included for its individuality.
“The properties themselves define the Curio brand – not the other way around,” Vaughan said in an email.
“From the ‘magic’ of Las Vegas to the beaches of Florida, these hotels are one-of-a-kind, with individuality as a common thread. The diversity of the product is what makes the brand so unique.”
Laurie Paolicelli, executive director of the Chapel Hill-Orange County Visitors Bureau, said The Franklin Hotel fits in perfectly with the collection.
“Each hotel they choose has to be a huge fabric of the city they call home,” she said.