The Shinola Hotel Launch: New Place To Stay, Benefits To Go Around?

What Location Analytics has to say about one of 2019’s biggest hotel launches

  • The Shinola followed heavy buzz to a strong launch
  • The hotel is a powerful leisure draw in a city primarily catered to business travel
  • Mobile data indicates that The Shinola is a strong complement to existing locations

A new hotel can mean much to a city. It can help generate excitement for an area, drive evening foot traffic to new restaurants and nightlife and serve as a focal point for greater levels of investment.

The start of 2019 saw the launch of several highly anticipated new hotels in the US including The Shinola Hotel in Detroit, Baker’s Cay Resort in Key Largo and The Rosewood Miramar Beach in Montecito California.

We dug into their foot traffic data to check the early returns. First up, The Shinola Hotel in Detroit.

The Shinola Rises Quickly to Prominence

We analyzed data from January 1st 2019 until May 19th, and the hotel’s quick start was impressive. The Shinola saw excitement translate immediately into visits, enjoying over 4,300 visits in January and then watching that number rise to over 5,700 in February and nearly 7,200 in March. The Shinola saw its weekly traffic peak in early April, though the true test of its staying power will come in the summer.

Visits to The Shinola Hotel from January 1st 2019 through May 19th

Destination Detroit

While Detroit is not currently seen as a major tourist destination, the Shinola looked capable of drawing in local visitors looking for a getaway. One strong indicator comes from the distribution of weekly traffic, where the Shinola sees over 46% of its overall visits on Fridays and Saturdays compared to 34% for the equally rated and priced Westin Book Cadillac Detroit. This indicates a strong ability to drive visits for weekend getaways and vacations as opposed to work-related trips that are centered around a Sunday arrival and mid-week visits.

Comparison of the percentage of visits by day of the week between The Shinola Hotel and the Westin Book Cadillac Detroit

Further support comes from the breakdown of hourly traffic, where The Shinola also displayed a capacity to drive late night visits and serve as a highlight of the downtown Detroit area. The Shinola saw over 53% more of its visits come between 8:00pm to 12:00am than The Siren Hotel, another local destination highly recommended by travel sites.

Comparison of the percentage of visits by time of day between The Shinola Hotel and The Siren Hotel

Analyzing customer journey patterns also demonstrates The Shinola’s tourist destination status. Looking at visits to the popular Campus Mauritius and Fisher Building tourist sites, Shinola Hotel visitors had significantly higher cross visit rates compared to Westin visitors. Shinola visitors were 72% more likely to visit one of the two sites before heading to the hotel and 129% more likely to visit after.

A final argument comes from the distance visitors are traveling. The Shinola sees 67.6% of visits coming from within 30 miles while the Westin sees only 39.5% from the same distance. The combination of these patterns indicates that longer distance travelers come for conferences and professional engagements, while leisure tourism is primarily boosted by local visits. The Shinola, therefore, doesn’t just serve as a powerful addition to the local hotel scene, but a strong complement to existing locations.

Comparison of the percentage of visits that come from longer distances

Driving Awareness

The Shinola also drove wealthier clientele with 9% earning more than $150,000 per year as opposed to 2.2% for the Siren. Even the more expensive local hotel, The Westin Book Cadillac Detroit, saw only 4.7% of their visitors in the same range showing the power that the Shinola has to draw in high-income individuals into the city.

Income rate of customers


The Shinola Hotel opening generated tremendous excitement into the start of 2019, and thus far, the hotel has lived up to its promise. Creating a powerful pull for tourists and revelers in the down Detroit area, The Shinola quickly mounted a claim as an exciting and needed addition to the city’s reemergence.

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