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The Surprising Places These Boutique Hoteliers Found Opportunity Boutique hoteliers check into America's smaller cities.

By Jason Daley

This story appears in the June 2016 issue of Start Up.

Photos Courtesy of Aparium Hotel Group
Chic sleep: A room at the Charmant Hotel in La Crosse, Wis.

Six years ago, Kevin Robinson and Mario Tricoci both had kids playing for traveling sports teams. That meant the Chicago-based hoteliers made regular visits to smaller cities throughout the Midwest. It was fun, except for one thing.

"Having spent four years living and breathing this independent luxury hotel, we'd go to Indianapolis or Omaha and get slapped in the face with Hiltons or Marriotts, these thoughtless hotels and restaurants," recalls Robinson, who worked for years with the Four Seasons and helped Tricoci develop and manage the Elysian, a high-end boutique hotel in Chicago.

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