Especially with the addition of soft brands to the picture, said Matt Marquis, CEO and president of Aliso Viejo, California-based Pacifica Hotels, which operates a portfolio of 30 boutique hotels. “If you look at our sphere, there is a lot of invasion from the brands in the independent hotel (market) through their soft brands,” Marquis said. “Their soft brands are extremely competitive because they are allowing operators and owners to come in with a unique product, which is resonating with guests today.” Kerry Cooper, VP of operations and development at L.E. Hotels, said it’s more important now than ever for independent hotels to provide unique, special experiences that make the guests want to come back. Get the full story at HNN