Only eight weeks after first announcing the brand, InterContinental Hotels Group is on track to open its first Avid Hotel in Oklahoma City by the second half of 2018.
REPORT FROM THE U.S.—When InterContinental Hotels Group announced its newest brand, Avid Hotels, the company projected the first opening in 2019. Eight weeks after that announcement, the company has broken ground on its first property in Oklahoma City and plans to open it by the end of the third quarter of 2018.
Elie Maalouf, CEO of the Americas at IHG, said the four-story, 87-room Avid Hotel Oklahoma City-Quail Springs is coming along “quite earlier” than anticipated, but it shows the continuing momentum of the new brand. To date, he said, the brand has attracted more than 100 franchise applications, 34 of which have been signed into deals across the U.S. The company is also now ready to franchise the brand in Canada, he said.
“That’s a lot in eight weeks,” he said. “We’re very excited about it.”
IHG partnered with Champion Hotels to build the first Avid Hotel. Champion has been a key participant on the Avid Hotels advisory board, Maalouf said, and along with being the largest privately held operator in the U.S., has more than 20 IHG hotels open or under development.
“(Champion Hotels’) passion and experience, their knowledge of the industry and with Avid Hotels now makes them an ideal partner,” he said.
The brand has been a collaboration of dedicated IHG colleagues, a select team of IHG owners and the owner advisory board for Avid Hotels, bringing together ideas on positioning, design and other features, Maalouf said.
IHG doesn’t provide guidance on any statistic, he said, but he did say the company’s initial plans to build up momentum early on have been validated, reinforcing the decision to make Avid Hotels a mass-market play.
“We have expectations Avid will be among the three largest brands in the Americas,” he said.
IHG launched Avid Hotels as its newest midscale brand in September, targeting travelers looking for a higher value for their dollar. The price point for Avid Hotels will be $10 to $15 less than for a room at a Holiday Inn Express, depending on the market.
The company touts the lowered cost of construction for a new Avid Hotel, as it is projected to cost 10% to 15% less than for a Holiday Inn Express. The properties will all be new build, no conversions.