InterContinental Hotels Group's upscale Voco brand, which launched in 2018 in Australia and Europe, is poised to debut in the United States with three properties by the first quarter of 2021, IHG SVP of development for the Americas Julienne Smith said during a media call Tuesday.
One property could debut "maybe a little sooner," Smith said.
The properties are conversions and include the 50-room Historic St. Augustine in Florida, a three-year-old hotel; the 64-room Tiger Hotel, built in 1928 in Columbia, Mo., near the University of Missouri, and listed on the National Register of Historic Places; and the 50-room Franklin Hotel, in operation since 1931, on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, N.Y. The latter will be managed by Aimbridge Hospitality. The three will mark the first hotels for the brand in the Americas.
"Voco has broad appeal in the leisure and business segments for guests seeking a more informal experience," Smith said. "With that in mind, [there are] significant opportunities to convert heritage, urban, destination and suburban properties."
IHG considers Voco a "soft brand with hard-brand elements." When it launched, it was positioned as ideal for conversions but with new-build opportunities. There are 12 Voco-branded properties currently open with 28 in the pipeline, which will take the brand into 19 countries within five years. Sizes range from about 50 rooms to 470. Roughly two-thirds of those in the pipeline are conversions, Smith said.