Hilton plans lower-cost brand with several hotels, some in Southern California

Hilton Worldwide, the hotel giant know for upscale lodging, is launching a more affordable brand, targeting millennials, families and business travelers.

At a hotel investment conference in Los Angeles, Hilton executives unveiled their plans Monday, noting that Hilton already has commitments to open more than 100 franchises to be dubbed Tru by Hilton. The locations include Anaheim, Pasadena and Hesperia.

The hotels are aimed at reaching out to "cost-conscious" travelers, with nightly rates of $90 to $100.

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The Tru hotels join the hospitality industry's push to target millennials by offering extra-large lobbies where guests can mingle, eat and surf the Internet.

Tru hotels will feature a lobby of about 2,700 square feet along with a play area with table games and a large-screen TV. Near the lobby, a snack area will allow guests to buy food and drinks around the clock. Customers will be able to check in using a smartphone.

The rooms will have high-speed WiFi and several power outlets, among other high-tech amenities.

"We feel we have an amazing opportunity to delight guests," said Alexandra Jaritz, global head of Tru by Hilton.

Although other hotel companies have already unveiled new brands to target high-spending millennials, Tru is designed to offer a more affordable option that should also draw in families, business travelers and older guests, Jaritz said.

The Tru hotels will be built from the ground up and typically will include 98 or fewer rooms. Besides the locations in Southern California, Tru hotels are expected to launch as soon as the end of 2016 in Phoenix, Portland, Ore., Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta, Houston and other cities.

To read more about travel, tourism and the airline industry, follow Hugo Martin on Twitter at @hugomartin.

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