Virgin continues Florida takeover with plans for new Miami hotel
Sir Richard Branson's Virgin brand is no stranger to Florida, and the company is continuing its focus on the area with a new Virgin Hotel in Miami, according to the Sun Sentinel.
Virgin currently offers travelers in the area options for air travel, train travel and even a new cruise line based in the region. The newest endeavor will be a Virgin Hotel in Miami's Brickell financial district. The hotel is slated to open in 2023.
Virgin wants to be a one-stop travel retailer for its customers: air travel, high-speed train travel, cruises and hotels. A spokesperson for Virgin told the paper, "Once we have a Virgin hotel in place in Miami, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Holidays, Virgin Trains and Virgin Voyages will all be working to integrate and promote trips to Florida."
In 2018, Branson acquired a stake in Brightline, the existing passenger train that serves Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. He is working on rebranding it as Virgin Trains and promised to extend the route to Orlando and Tampa.
Virgin Atlantic, on the other hand, flies to both Orlando and Miami, which is also the home port for its newest venture: cruise ships. The Scarlet Lady is slated to set sail on her maiden voyage next year.
This latest move from the company makes it clear that Virgin plans to stay focused on Florida for many years to come. The good news for travelers, hopefully, will be the opportunity to book packages with Virgin, allowing customers to bundle travel under the same brand.
Companies have tried this type of vertical travel integration before: For years Pan Am owned and operated the Intercontinental brand of hotels, until it was sold to help keep the airline solvent. Hopefully, Virgin's venture will be more successful.
Featured Photo by Vincenzo Lombardo/Getty Images for VIRGIN VOYAGES