InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) said its new midscale
brand will compete in price below its Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express brands,
starting in 2019.
IHG said it would reveal the brand's name in the next couple
Hotels will feature complimentary breakfast, a grab-and-go
market and highly connected lobbies. The prototype will have about 100 rooms, sit
on about 1.5 acres, and have guestrooms averaging about 250 square feet, said Heather
Balsley, senior vice president of brands and marketing for IHG's Americas
Room rates will be 10% to 15% less than Holiday Inn Express,
whose U.S. properties had an average room rate of about $112 a night last year,
according to IHG.
Speaking on a webcast Tuesday, Balsley said the brand would
provide "an experience that delivers exceptional quality at a fair price."
She added that the company is taking aim at a U.S. midscale sector that caters
to about 14 million travelers and generates about $20 billion a year in annual
IHG's only current midscale brand is the extended-stay chain
Candlewood Suites. Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express are classified as upper-midscale.
IHG appears to be taking a similar tack as Hilton with its
new Tru brand.
The first Tru hotel opened in Oklahoma City last month. It
is also a franchise-targeting brand focused on building new 100-room hotels
with daily room rates in the $95 range.
Balsley didn't say where the first hotels under the new IHG
brand would open, though did note that IHG would focus on the U.S..
IHG, which oversees about 5,200 hotels worldwide, made the
announcement as part of its 2017 Americas Conference in Las Vegas this week.