A century of Hilton innovation has employed an estimated 10 million Team Members and served more than 3 billion guests around the world. This history informs today’s practices in hotels that both reflect and impact travelers, employees and communities.
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Because traveling for work is work on top of work, Conrad Hilton understood that delivering hospitality – the comforts, pleasures, and possibilities for refreshment – was the missing piece of the puzzle that would power the brand.
When Conrad Hilton turns a hotel over to a manager he gives that (person) complete autonomy. Each unit is, for that reason run differently and has individuality” New York Times, 1949.
A known, international hotel brand is a secure bridge to the outside world, a sign of a steady influx of money and moneyed foreigners arriving from lands with healthier economies.
Hilton becomes the first major hospitality company to commit to science-based sustainability goals
Hilton unveils Connected Room, the first truly mobile-centric guest room
Today Hilton employs more than 400,000 Team Members around the world
This demonstrated resilience made the Hilton Colombo a symbol of stability. Of the 700 current team members 200 have been on the team since the Central Bank bombing in 1996.
Hilton Innovation Gallery launched in Virginia to showcase new innovations that enrich guest experiences
Hilton named to the Fortune 200 Best Companies to work for list.
Hilton Cleveland Downtown: “This hyper-modern skycraper is the Cleveland’s tallest, most spacious and most comfortable hotel as well as being the crown jewel of the downtown core.”
Hilton upgrades hundreds of properties to improve employee spaces such as cafeterias, break rooms, and locker rooms.
Hilton Times Square first to live stream a concert on YouTube
Hilton returns to the New York Stock Exchange
The modernization of Puerto Madero spurred by the Hilton’s launch continued with the construction of the new headquarters of YPF, the state oil company on land that had been vacant for decades. A number of embassies followed.
After 40 years of being separate companies, Hilton Hotels Corporation and Hilton International are reunited and Chris Nassetta is appointed President & CEO.
Hilton Americas Houston: “This AAA Four-Diamond hotel lies at the center of Houston’s downtown core, just steps away from professional sports, the theater district and world-class shopping.”
The Hilton Buenos Aires was the first commercial building in Puerto Madero when it opened, just as an economic crisis began. Other hotels closed during the crisis but Hilton held strong, becoming an icon of the Argentinian skyline that has since played host to world leaders and celebrities alike.
The Hilton Colombo was damaged by a series of separatist attacks during Sri Lanka’s civil war. The hotel stayed open in spite of the damage, with the general manager declaring "We will never close,” and rallying the employees to establish the hotel as a haven from the conflict.
The first Hilton website launches www.hilton.com.
Hilton Honors™ loyalty program launched
Hilton Abuja: “One of the largest hotels in sub-Saharan Africa, the Hilton Abuja is both a national landmark and a home for travelers to experience the richness of life in Nigeria’s capital.”
Hilton Colombo: “Sri Lanka’s premier hotel offers peerless international dining, first-class amenities and stunning views over the Indian Ocean, all from the heart of the city of Colombo.”
The first computerized reservation database
John Lennon handwrites words to “Imagine” on a piece of Hilton New York stationery while at the hotel
Lady Hilton the first hotel concept exclusively for women
Remote controls for TV and radio at the London Hilton on Park Lane
Hilton pioneers the airport–hotel concept by opening the San Francisco Airport Hilton
Nile Hilton, Cairo: “The Nile Hilton Hotel Cairo has been at the center of modern Egyptian history. One of the city’s most iconic structures—second, perhaps, to the Great Pyramids.”
In his autobiography, Be My Guest, Conrad Hilton reiterates his policy of rewarding good work with more work: “Success seems to be connected to action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.”
Air conditioning comes to every Hilton hotel
The first multi-hotel reservations system
Conrad Hilton flew in more than 100 luminaries for a five-day grand opening of the Istanbul Hilton. The hotel became an iconic landmark, with a lingering aura of importance as community focal point. Eighteen years later, a record 21 couples were married at the Istanbul Hilton in a single week. Istanbul’s first and finest five-star hotel has welcomed some of the world’s most elite guests, including Sophia Loren, Queen Elizabeth II, Louis Armstrong and Grace Kelly.
Hilton International is born, with the opening of the Caribe Hilton in Puerto Rico. The Piña Colada was also invented and first served at the Caribe Hilton.
Roosevelt Hilton, New York, becomes the first hotel to install televisions in guest rooms
Hilton becomes the first coast-to-coast hotel group in the U.S. with the purchase of the Roosevelt and Plaza hotels.
Conrad Hilton pursued his unique management style over a rapidly-growing chain, engaging his employees by demanding that they ‘climb a little higher”.
Room service pioneered at the Waldorf Astoria
Dallas Hilton is constructed from the ground up.
Conrad Hilton purchased his first hotel in Mobley, Texas
Hilton – the Company: https://designandcontract.com/files/chunks/.../56d86d6f2a97034437000145.pdf
Hilton website: https://www3.hilton.com/en/about/hilton/history/index.html
Hilton website: http://newsroom.hilton.com/hhr/page/hilton-history
Fortune website: http://fortune.com/2016/03/03/hilton-100-best-companies-to-work-for/
Leadership Profile: Conrad Hilton: https://scholarworks.umass.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1017&context=palat