The original owners were entrepreneurs, Hyatt von Dehn and Jack D. Crouch. Von Dehn was eager to get out of the hotel business after a few years, so he sold his share in the hotel to Jay Pritzker. Jay's younger brother Donald Pritzker, under Jack Crouch's mentorship and along with his brother Jay, took over day-to-day operations of the company and acquired motels and hotels.
Over the following decade, Donald's handling of the day-to-day operations and Jay's leadership and deal-making abilities helped drive acquisitions and financial strategy, making Hyatt the fastest-growing hotel chain in the United States. After Donald's death in 1972, Jay remained at the helm, helping to shape Hyatt into a major competitor in the hospitality industry.
In 1969, Hyatt opened its first overseas hotel, the Hyatt Regency Hong Kong (which closed at the end of 2005 and was demolished; a new facility replacing the old opened in 2009. In 1980, the Grand Hyatt and Park Hyatt brands were introduced. Hyatt has become known for its resorts after the opening of Hyatt Regency Maui in 1980. Today Hyatt has over 490 hotels worldwide.
As of June 30, 2012, Hyatt Corporation's worldwide portfolio consisted of 492 properties. On September 1, 2011, Hyatt acquired Hotel Sierra which has 18 properties in 10 states. Along with Hyatt Summerfield Suites hotels, several of these properties were rebranded as HYATT house in January 2012.
Hyatt Hotels Corporation operations several chains, and the company and its people have been recognized from publications including Travel + Leisure, Conde Nast Traveler, Latina Style and DiversityInc Magazine. The Human Rights Campaign has awarded the company 100% in the HRC Equality Index for eight consecutive years. The Hyatt Regency brand is the oldest brand in the company, with the Grand Hyatt and Park Hyatt brands being introduced in 1980.