It’s hip to be cheap as hotels democratize design

If you haven’t visited a college campus, secondhand store or seen “Crazy Rich Asians,” in which one of the central characters possesses a Jamba Juice freebie card, you may not have heard: Thrift is cool. In hospitality, that spirit has worked its way from Airbnb mania to spinoff hotel brands and independent properties that promise the travel equivalent of fast fashion.

“Cheap chic is in,” said Chekitan Dev, a professor of marketing at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and the author of “Hospitality Branding.” “The cheap chic hotel brand trend is in line with tiny houses and other minimalist lifestyle trends that are sweeping the country.”

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