The FINANCIAL — IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) celebrates on December 6 the first groundbreaking of its new midscale brand, avid hotels, in Oklahoma City.
The groundbreaking comes only two months after the brand was launched, well ahead of initial projected timing. Since launching avid hotels, developer interest and demand continues to be strong, with more than 100 franchise applications received, including 34 which have already been converted to signed deals for avid hotels locations across the U.S. Additionally, avid hotels is now franchise ready in Canada, further demonstrating the brand’s rapid start and growth potential, according to IHG.
Projected to open by the end of Q3 2018, the avid hotel Oklahoma City–Quail Springs will be a four-story, new-build hotel with 87 guest rooms, and will be owned and operated by Oklahoma-based Champion Hotels, the largest privately-held hotel operator in the U.S.
Elie Maalouf, Chief Executive Officer, The Americas, IHG, said: “avid hotels extends IHG’s leadership in the mainstream hotel market. The brand’s appeal to owners and developers clearly demonstrates IHG is trusted to identify and deliver a new midscale hotel brand that is right for guests and owners. avid hotels is scaling rapidly, and is scheduled to open its first hotel by the end of summer 2018 – months ahead of original projections.”
Champ Patel, Chief Executive Officer, Champion Hotels, added: “As a franchisee with many IHG hotels and a member of the avid hotels Owner Advisory Board, we have witnessed first-hand the speed and expertise IHG has demonstrated in developing this brand that will be efficient to build, operate and maintain while delivering a much-needed and differentiated experience for travelers in the midscale segment. The future looks bright as we work to open this new hotel next year.”
The Oklahoma City-Quail Springs property, located at the intersection of 138th Street and Joel McDonald Drive, will serve a thriving area of suburban Oklahoma City. Nearby businesses include Gulfport Energy Corporation, Hertz Corporation and Mercy Heart Hospital, a wide variety of restaurants within walking distance, a large shopping mall across the street and various family-friendly amusement activities located within two miles of the property.
The hotel will offer all of the brand’s signature hallmarks:
Setting the brand apart, the modern exterior hotel design will include an open and airy retail-like entry, a canopy, and will use the stairwell as an eye catching red architectural feature.
On the inside, guests will find vibrant, open public and work areas and inviting communal spaces that allow guests to relax, work, connect or eat.
Guest rooms will include sound reducing features for a superior night’s sleep; a dedicated workspace and ample open and easy-to-use storage. The guest bathroom experience will re-energize guests with a fresh and bright design.
The hotel will offer a focused, high-quality, complimentary breakfast and marketplace options made for guests on the go.
The entire hotel will be equipped with IHG Connect Wi-Fi featuring the fastest speed in the industry and the ability for loyalty members to be automatically connected for all future visits. It will also deploy IHG’s new state-of-the-art, cloud-based next generation reservation system.
All avid hotels properties will leverage the strength and scale of the IHG parent brand to further drive confidence and assurance of this new brand and will be part of IHG Rewards Club, IHG’s industry leading loyalty program. The brand, which will feature all new-build construction, is designed for travelers who want a hotel stay that finally meets their expectations for the type of hospitality they value most – the basics done exceptionally well, at a price point expected to be about $10-$15 less than IHG’s industry-leading Holiday Inn Express brand.
Maalouf continued, “We designed avid hotels to reach an important set of business and leisure travelers in an underserved $20 billion segment of the U.S. midscale market. Owners are enthusiastic and Champion Hotels, with its distinguished reputation as a best-in-class hotel operator, is an ideal first developer for this new hotel brand.”
Officially launched for franchising in September 2017, the brand was developed in collaboration with IHG’s avid hotels Owner Advisory Board. The royalty fee for the brand will be five percent, with the first 100 signed license agreements will be eligible for a two percent fee discount in year one and one percent fee discount in year two (2/1 royalty fee reduction).