Adam's Mark

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The Adam's Mark Hotel, in Buffalo

Adam's Mark Hotels & Resorts was a chain of upscale hotels in the United States. The company was headquartered in the HBE Corporation offices in Creve Coeur, Missouri in Greater St. Louis.[1][2] Fred Kummer founded the chain in the early 1970s, as well as its parent, HBE Corp.[3]

History[edit]

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Adams Mark faced several civil, state, and federal lawsuits for racial discrimination against Black customers. It was the first entire hotel chain to face a United States Justice Department inquiry into racial discrimination for violations of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

In the 1990s, Adams Mark settled multimillion-dollar racial discrimination lawsuits involving employees and consumers against individual hotels in Indianapolis, Memphis and St. Louis.[4][5]

In December 1999, five African–American hotel guests brought a class action lawsuit against the hotel chain after attending the Black College Reunion in Daytona Beach, Florida in 1999. The suit alleged that Adams Mark "charged black guests higher rates, required them to wear orange wrist bands and prohibited black visitors." Additionally, the claimants reported that "rooms rented to blacks had been 'stripped down' and lacked such basic amenities as telephones and maid service; pictures had been removed from the walls and room mini-bars were locked."[5] The Justice Department agreed with the claimants in a nonmonetary settlement, finding that Adams Mark engaged in discriminatorily "charging Black customers higher prices than Whites and segregating Black customers in less desirable rooms as part of a corporate pattern of discrimination."[6]

The suit, and subsequent 17-month boycott of the chain called by the NAACP, was settled out of court for $8 million in 2000.[7]

In July 2015, new allegations of racism against Adams Mark surfaced. The Daily Kos reported, "A white hotel manager of the Adams Mark Hotel in Kansas City, hung a black slave doll from the doorway of the office with a garbage bag in an apparent mocking of the death of Sandra Bland." Tweets about the incident documented a photograph of the doll hanging by a "white plastic bag noose" around her neck.[8]

Hotels[edit]

While once numbering more than 20 large hotels, the chain, because of financial difficulties and changing corporate strategies, sold all of its properties during the 2000s.

  • In May, 2004, the Houston location, in the Westchase district, was rebranded as a Marriott.[9]
  • The Memphis Adam's Mark, originally built in 1975 as the Hyatt Regency Memphis, was sold in 2003, to a joint venture of Dallas-based Crow Holdings, manager of the real estate holdings of the Trammell Crow family, and Wilton D. 'Chick' Hill, the president of Memphis-based Davidson Hotel Co. The hotel underwent a $12 million renovation and reopened as the Hilton Memphis Hotel in 2005.[10][11]
  • The Adam's Mark in Kansas City, Missouri, originally a Sheraton, became a Clarion Hotel in 2004, then returned to a Sheraton in 2007, and to a Holiday Inn in 2009. The hotel is near the Truman Sports Complex, home of both the Kansas City Chiefs and Royals. In April 2015, owners rebranded the property again as the Adam's Mark Hotel and Coco Key Water Resort.[12]
  • In November 2004, Target Corporation purchased the Philadelphia Adam's Mark (opened in 1965 as a Holiday Inn) closing the 23-story building permanently to make way for a new Target store.[13] On July 11, 2006, an unexpected collapse on the north side of the main tower trapped a construction worker helping to demolish the building. The new Target opened on the site in late 2007.[citation needed]
  • In 2005, Chartres Hospitality purchased the 966-room Adam's Mark in Jacksonville, Florida, which it converted to the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront after a multimillion-dollar renovation.[14]
  • The Florida Mall in Orlando, Florida contained an Adam's Mark which has since been rebranded as The Florida Mall Hotel.[15]
  • The Adam's Mark in Dallas was built in 1959 as Southland Center, a multi-tower complex including an office building and the Sheraton-Dallas Hotel. The entire complex was converted into one enormous hotel, run by Adam's Mark, in the 1990s. In July 2006, the hotel completed a $30 million renovation and opened the "Tower Royale by Adam's Mark", a luxury 500-room hotel within a hotel. The hotel was home to many conventions such as Project A-Kon. In 2007, it was sold and reflagged as the Sheraton Dallas Hotel.[16]
  • The Adam's Mark in Charlotte was built as the Sheraton Center in 1973 and became the Adam's Mark in 1984. It was sold to the Chetrit Group in 2005 and reopened as The Blake, a boutique hotel. It was converted into two separate hotels in 2013, each occupying one tower. After a $20 million renovation, one tower again became a Sheraton Hotel in August 2013, while the other tower opened as a Le Méridien Hotel in January 2014.[17]
  • The Denver property, opened in 1961 as the Denver Hilton, designed by Araldo Cossutta and I.M. Pei, was also a Radisson before joining the chain in 1995. In 2008, it was reflagged as a Sheraton Hotel.[18]
  • The St. Louis hotel became a Hyatt Regency, with Chartres Lodging group spending at least $63 million to renovate the property.[19]
  • In late August 2009, the Adam's Mark Indianapolis was re-flagged as the Wyndham Indianapolis West Hotel.[20]
  • By 2010, the chain had dwindled to just one property, in Buffalo, New York, built as the Buffalo Hilton in 1978. Visions Hotels LLC, of Corning, New York, operator of several smaller size hotels in the Upstate New York region, purchased the property in February 2009 for $7.5 Million. [21]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Contact Us." Adam's Mark. April 9, 2003. Retrieved on April 5, 2013. "Adam's Mark Corporate Headquarters HBE Corporation 11330 Olive Blvd. St. Louis, MO 63141"
  2. ^ Jonsson, Greg (August 11, 2001). "NAACP Protests at Headquarters of Adam's Mark Hotels". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. p. 11. Retrieved December 26, 2015. (subscription required (help)). The activists picket HBE Corp. in Creve Coeur to protest what the NAACP says are discriminatory practices by the hotel chain. 
  3. ^ "Company History". HBE Corporation. Retrieved 26 December 2015. 
  4. ^ Catron, Derek (22 March 2000). "Suits Were Not The First The Adam's Mark In St. Louis Was The Focus Of Two Other Cases During The 1990s, And There Have Been Controversies At Other Properties In The 23-hotel Luxury Chain". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 29 July 2015. 
  5. ^ a b "Adams Mark Hotel Chain Charged with Racial Discrimination". Consumer Affairs. 17 December 1999. Retrieved 29 July 2015. 
  6. ^ Lords, Erik (26 April 2001). "Adam's Mark Faces New Accusations of Racial Bias". Diverse Issues in Higher Education. Retrieved 29 July 2015. 
  7. ^ "Adam's Mark Hotel Chain Settles Lawsuit". Society of American Archivists. Associated Press. 21 March 2000. Retrieved 26 December 2015. 
  8. ^ King, Shaun (28 July 2015). "Kansas City hotel manager hangs black doll from doorway in office to mock Sandra Bland". Daily Kos. Retrieved 29 July 2015. 
  9. ^ "Marriott Reflags Adam's Mark Houston as Houston Marriott Westchase" (Press release). Marriott International. June 3, 2004. 
  10. ^ Sheffield, Michael. "Adam's Mark goes Hilton." Memphis Business Journal. April 13, 2003. Retrieved on April 5, 2013.
  11. ^ "Company Overview of Hilton Memphis Hotel". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved 26 December 2015. 
  12. ^ Collins, Leslie (April 6, 2015). "Adam's Mark makes a comeback in KC". Kansas City Business Journal. Retrieved 26 December 2015. 
  13. ^ "Target Buys Adam's Mark Hotel in Philadelphia". Philadelphia Daily News. The Weekly. December 1, 2004. 
  14. ^ "Hyatt to Assume Management of Adam's Mark Jacksonville" (Press release). Oxford Lodging. March 31, 2005. 
  15. ^ Jackson, Jerry W. (December 5, 2005). "Hotel at Florida Mall is renovating". Orlando Sentinel. (subscription required (help)). 
  16. ^ Clausing, Jeri (February 18, 2008). "Adam's Mark hotels down to one as new owner plans rebrands". Travel Weekly. Retrieved 26 December 2015. 
  17. ^ Miller, Blair (July 17, 2013). "Blake Hotel to become Sheraton, Le Méridien". WSOC-TV News. Retrieved 26 December 2015. 
  18. ^ Leavitt, Noelle (February 8, 2008). "Denver Adam's Mark hotel deal cleared for Sheraton brand". Denver Business Journal. Retrieved 26 December 2015. 
  19. ^ "Adam's Mark St. Louis to Become Hyatt Regency St. Louis Riverfront" (PDF) (Press release). Chartres Lodging Group. February 8, 2008. Retrieved 26 December 2015. 
  20. ^ Spalding, Tom (October 1, 2009). "Former Adams Mark hotel reopens as a Wyndham". Indianapolis Star. (subscription required (help)). 
  21. ^ Epstein, Jonathan D. (April 6, 2015). "Adam's Mark Hotel may be getting new owner". The Buffalo News. Retrieved 26 December 2015. 

External links[edit]