InterContinental Hotels Group has revealed plans to launch a new midscale hotel brand.
The group currently has 12 brands – far fewer than its similar sized competitors such as Marriott International, Hilton and Accorhotels. It says that the new brand will “…target more than 14 million guests in a vastly under served segment of the U.S. midscale market, estimated to be worth $20 billion in annual industry revenues”.
The name, logo and other brand elements will be announced later this year, but it looks likely to launch in the U.S first is aimed at a price point “about $10-15 less than IHG’s … Holiday Inn Express brand”.
Richard Solomons, Chief Executive Officer, IHG, said: “This new brand builds on IHG’s leading position in the midscale segment alongside Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express. It addresses the needs of a rapidly growing and underserved segment and we believe it will shape the future of this unique midscale category. This launch will extend our track record of innovation and brand development, with a new offering that is right for our guests, our owners and our shareholders.”
Initial features of this brand include:
- Rooms that will be a mix of 220 square foot king (65 percent) and 275 square foot queen/queen (35 percent), featuring a built-in work space, open closet storage with luggage shelf, a great shower and a smart TV.
- Public spaces designed for travellers looking to spend 30-45 minutes in the lobby working, socializing or enjoying a complimentary breakfast.
- Technology including mobile check-in and check-out and IHG Connect enhanced Wi-Fi. Rooms will also feature enhanced in-room entertainment options which allows guests to cast content from their smart devices to in-room TVs.
- Complimentary breakfast with brand-name offered to guests to grab and go or enjoy in the lobby, alongside a “premium coffee experience”
- The hotel has been designed for new-build construction on an average lot size of approximately 1.5 acres. The prototype design features 95-100 keys with a minimum of three stories.
IHG expects the brand to be franchise-ready in the fall of 2017 with the first hotels beginning construction in early 2018 and opening in 2019.