LOS ANGELES -- The first Avid hotels will have sound-baffling headboards, breakfast areas with seven food "zones" and bathrooms with quartz counters.

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), Avid's parent company, revealed the features in a mock-up of its new midscale brand's guestroom, lobby and food and beverage areas that it built at the new Hotel Indigo Los Angeles Downtown last month.

Less than two months after announcing the first Avid hotel, IHG was pitching the badge to prospective developers at last month's Americas Lodging Investment Summit in Los Angeles. IHG executives said they've signed agreements for 34 Avid Hotels properties, primarily in the southeastern U.S. and Texas, and have applications out to an additional 100 potential franchisees.

Photo Credit: Danny King

Amenities in the prototype included rooms with soothing shades of grey and light blue and headboards covered in sound-baffling fabric; a complimentary breakfast area with a round, high-top table serving seven zones of foods, including cereals, yogurt, fruit and Belvita energy-boosting bars; and a Bunn-branded coffeemaker that grinds the beans for each cup of coffee.

IHG executives said that typical rooms would range from 220 square feet for a single king to 275 square feet for a double queen, and that the bathrooms would feature quartz counters and back-lit mirrors.

"We expect the brand to be among our top three largest brands in the Americas," said Elie Maalouf, CEO of IHG's Americas region. "Avid is squarely midscale, where there is not a competitive-scale, newbuild product with the loyalty and all the service we bring."

However, the brand that appears to be Avid's most similar competitor, Tru by Hilton, debuted last year in Oklahoma City, the market where the first Avid is slated to open in the third quarter. In fact, both of those hotels are owned by Champion Hotels.

Photo Credit: Danny King

Both brands are jumping into a sector where CBRE Hotels projected occupancy to have peaked last year at 60%, but where room rates will advance at about 2% per year for the next two years.

IHG also touted its midscale and upper-midscale expertise as well as its prototype's lower construction costs -- about 15% less than that of its Holiday Inn Express chain -- and extensive loyalty program as draws for both prospective developers and customers.

"The emphasis [for potential developers] is that you're going to be able to build it, and build it soon," said IHG vice president Chris Drazba.
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Correction: IHG said construction costs for Avid were about 15% less than Holiday Inn Express, not Holiday Inn.

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