Wyndham Hotels and Resorts has unveiled plans for a new extended-stay brand, and says it already has 50 properties in the initial pipeline.

The concept has a working title of “Project Echo”, standing for “Economy Hotel Opportunity”, and has been under development since summer 2021.

Wyndham confirmed that it has signed contracts to develop 50 new construction projects with partners Sandpiper Hospitality and Gulf Coast Hotel Management.

Announcing the news Geoff Ballotti, president and chief executive officer, Wyndham Hotels and Resorts said that “Over the last two years, economy extended-stay hotels outperformed all other segments, and in 2021, set new records for occupancy, ADR and RevPAR”.

“Demand for these accommodations only continues to climb – both from guests and developers alike – making now the right time for Wyndham, the definitive leader in the economy segment, to bring our experience and expertise to this high-potential space.”

The prototype for the group’s extended stay concept consists of a 124-room purpose-built property occupying just under two acres of land, with a mixture of single and two-queen studio suites with kitchenettes, as well as a fitness centre and guest laundry.

Sandpiper and Gulf Coast have committed to develop 25 properties each over the next five years, with the first hotel expected to open in 2023. Wyndham also said that it is “actively talking to additional, multi-unit operators with experience in the segment, a key part of the brand’s growth strategy”.

“From day one, Wyndham has made a point of reaching out and asking, ‘What should be done differently?’,” said Ian McClure, chief executive officer, Gulf Coast Hotel Management .

“It wasn’t about dictating to us what the brand would be but rather, wanting to understand its potential and how our experience and expertise could best help developers meet their goals. For us, that went a long way. It showed they’re committed to getting this brand right.”

The group is targeting “at least 300 hotels over the next ten years in the US with potential for additional growth internationally”, and has identified possible development markets across the US.

The brand is set to be officially announced later this year – for now a holding page can be seen at projectecho.wyndhamhotels.com.

The new economy concept will add to Wyndham’s existing midscale extended-stay brand Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham.

Hotel groups are increasingly focusing their efforts on the extended stay market, with Marriott last year outlining the growth of its extended stay brands including Element, Residence Inn and Towneplace Suites.

Marriott outlines growth of extended stay brands

Radisson also opened its first extended stay property in Western Europe in 2021, and Accor is also developing new extended stay concepts under the Novotel Living and Pullman Living brands.

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