MarketWatch.com, By Tony Garcia, Posted July 3rd 2019
The Bell will operate for four days in Palm Springs
If you didn’t snag a room for The Bell: A Taco Bell Hotel and Resort, it looks like you’ll have to make other summer vacation plans.
According to Taco Bell, reservations were available at 10 a.m. Pacific on June 27 and sold out in two minutes.
“We would like to extend a big ‘thank you’ for those who have come along on this journey with us and even though The Bell is sold out, we’ll have more to share on exclusive merchandise, food and more in the coming weeks so those unable to score a room can still experience the fun from home,” said Marisa Thalberg, Taco Bell’s chief global brand officer.
Taco Bell is part of the Yum Brands Inc. YUM, -0.01% portfolio, which also includes KFC and Pizza Hut.
The Bell, located in Palm Springs, Calif., was an existing hotel that the brand redesigned into “a taco-inspired destination,” according to the hotel’s website. It has more than 70 rooms with pricing starting at $169 per night. Guests have to be 18 years of age and over to stay, and will have a wristband in order to access rooms and common areas.
The Bell will operate for four nights starting August 8 offering the “Taco Bell lifestyle” in the rooms, pool, bar and amenities, which will, of course, include Taco Bell food. Menu details will be available in July.
There will also be a house DJ, a gym and hot yoga to work off those meals. A Taco Bell Gift Shop will sell anything guests may have to forgotten to pack.
Taco Bell has expanded beyond its usual fast-food restaurant locations. Its urban Cantinas offer a new design and alcohol. The Las Vegas Cantina location on the Strip includes a VIP lounge, DJ booth and gift shop. Couples can also rent the space for their wedding.
Taco Bell aims to add hundreds of urban locations by 2022.
And the brand has launched pop-ups in the past, like the Taco Bell 2032 event in San Diego in 2018. To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the movie “Demolition Man,” which proposed a world where Taco Bell is the only restaurant left, Taco Bell opened a futuristic location for two days.
Taco Bell as a brand stands for “fun and energy,” according to Mark Kalinowski, chief executive of Kalinowski Equity Research. And its fans are a passionate group. Taken together, the brand can do something as seemingly far-fetched as launch a resort and there will be interest.
“It’s an experience that no one else has had and isn’t going to last for very long,” Kalinowski said. “If you can snag a spot, this is an exclusive experience.”
While Kalinowski can think of other examples of restaurant brands that have tried marketing stunts, he said “it’s hard to say off the top of my mind” to come up with another that could pull off a pop-up hotel.
“Taco Bell seems to do a really good job of cultivating their fans and doing things a little differently,” he said.
Yum stock is up 18.8% for 2019 so far while the S&P 500 index SPX, +0.43% has gained 18.1% for the period.