The number of Hampton Inn & Suites south of the border is set to double, thanks to an agreement between Hilton Hotels Corp. and Mexican developer Tenedora Augusta to build six Hampton-branded properties in Mexico.
Plans call for developing at least six Hampton properties in the next three years. Tenedora Augusta will operate the hotels under Hampton Inn franchise agreements.
Tenedora is the holding company for Hoteles Prisma, which already operates three Hampton Inns with a total of 602 rooms.
These include the Hampton Inn Monterrey Galerias, the Hampton Inn Saltillo and the Hampton Inn Torreon. There are also five existing Hampton Inn properties in Mexico that are not operated by Prisma.
The agreement between Tenedora and Hilton calls for all-new constructions, according to Victor Zorrilla, chairman and chief executive officer of Prisma. "The first one will open in Reynosa, on the border between Texas and Mexico," on June 1, Zorrilla said. "The development agreement calls for two hotels each year, so the last one should open in 2010."
In addition to Reynosa, a Hampton Inn is now under construction in Queretaro, the capital of the central Mexican state of the same name.
"Additionally, we are looking at developing properties in Guadalajara, Tijuana, Puebla and Monterrey," said Zorrilla; exact opening dates and locations have not been announced. "These cities were chosen because of their prime orientation to high-tech industries, which attract a lot of business visitors from the U.S. and other countries."
Indeed, Hampton is strongly focused on the business travel market in Mexico.
"At this point, development in the leisure and resort areas of Mexico is not contemplated, given that [leisure travel] is a market for full-service, all-included, upscale and resort properties in the five-star range," Zorrilla said. "We are more focused on the business segment, which is less seasonal."
To that end, Prisma is also looking to open business-oriented properties in destinations where most hotels target leisure travelers. "We will also develop in Cancun pueblo, within the township as opposed to the beach, due to the high number of business visitors, and also tourism."
Prisma is also expanding its role as a franchisee of InterContinental Hotels Group. The company plans to open four Holiday Inn Express properties by January.
"There is always room for developing early and being ready when economies soar," Zorrilla said.
To contact reporter Mark Chesnut, send e-mail [email protected].