Choice Hotels introduced a new brand in the midscale extended-stay segment named during this week's American Lodging Investment Summit in Los Angeles. Named Everhome Suites, Choice plans for the brand new-build locations in suburbs outside of the top 50 metropolitan areas in the U.S. and Canada.
"If you look at rooms sold in the last year, 20 percent were for extended stays of seven nights or more, yet only 9 percent of existing supply is purpose-built extended-stay, so the customer in this segment we believe has been underserved," said Choice president and CEO Patrick Pacious. "This brand is targeted at the heart of midscale, so we're looking at the value-conscious customer who is really looking for an apartment-style accommodation."
Choice during the past two years has more than tripled the size of its extended-stay portfolio and now offers 400 hotels across its new-build WoodSpring Suites and conversion Suburban Extended Stay economy brands, as well as its conversion MainStay Suites brand in the midscale segment. The new-build Everhome Suites will join MainStay Suites in the midscale segment.
"This is the first brand to be launched in the heart of midscale extended stay in over a decade," said Choice chief development officer David Pepper. "Most hotels in this segment average about 15 years old. We believe there is much hidden demand in extended stay looking for a home like this."
Choice over the past year developed the brand with existing owners as well as worked with its WoodSpring franchise advisory committee. The properties will sit on about two acres and have 114 units. The apartment-style prototype offers three types of room sizes: a king suite at 324 square feet, a double queen suite at 405 square feet and a one-bedroom suite at 658 square feet. The target national average rate will be $85 per night.
Each unit will include a fully equipped kitchen with full-sized appliances; a rolling, variable-height workstation; and a full-size closet and additional storage space. Public spaces feature multipurpose lobby areas, fitness center, business center, a library, 24/7 self-service markets and an outdoor pool in some markets. Each property also will have a common laundry facility, but the one-bedroom suites will come with an in-room washer and dryer.
To keep costs in balance, the desired audience for this new brand is a guest with an average stay of six to seven nights, said Choice VP of brand strategy and operations for extended stay Anna Scozzafava. While business travelers certainly will be part of the targeted guests, the mix of desired clients will depend on the market, said Pacious. There are a lot of extended-stay brands, he said, especially in the higher tier where the amount of transient business is significant, but "the more transient business, the heavier the operating costs. The secret is putting the property in a market where the demand you're getting is truly extended stay."
The company already has 13 agreements for the new brand, with 10 in the Los Angeles area and the remainder in Austin, Texas. "We will be disappointed if we don't see at least 50 [agreements] by the end of this year," Pepper said. Choice broke ground Monday afternoon on the first Everhome Suites property, in Corona, Calif., just east of Anaheim, and expects it to open in 2021. The second groundbreaking is planned for June.