BTN's annual answer book for business travel managers.
InterContinental Hotels Group has started licensing in the
U.S. for its new midscale brand, Avid. IHG previously
kept the lid on the name of its 13th brand, referring to it instead as Project
Horizon since it was first announced in June.
The company said more than 150 owners have expressed
interest. It expects the initial Avid hotels to begin construction in early
2018 and the first to open in early 2019.
This new hotel brand represents a significant growth opportunity for IHG and our family of owners."
IHG's decision to launch a midscale brand comes as U.S.
hotel supply growth overtakes demand growth in the segments from upper-midscale
up to luxury. Demand growth for midscale, in contrast, grew 1.8 percent in
July, outpacing the 1.1 percent supply growth, according to STR. The segment
also commanded greater revenue per available room growth, 2.4 percent, than the
higher chain scale segments. Other companies that have added midscale products
include Wyndham Worldwide, which acquired the AmericInn
brand in July, and Trump Hotels, which announced its American
Idea brand in June.
"With 14 million potential customers looking for the
type of hospitality Avid hotels will offer, this new hotel brand represents a
significant growth opportunity for IHG and our family of owners," IHG CEO
Keith Barr said.
The Avid brand is described in IHG's marketing
materials as a "a straightforward hotel for straightforward
people" with "the essentials done exceptionally well." IHG
expects the price point to be $10 to $15 cheaper than IHG's Holiday Inn Express.
It will feature public spaces for socializing and work, complimentary
breakfast, a food marketplace and high-speed Wi-Fi from IHG Connect.
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