April 24, 2013 - HotelNewsNow.com
New Generations of Extended-Stay Brands
Two extended-stay hotel brands at the opposite ends of the chain scale spectrum—
Residence Inn by Marriott and Value Place—recently introduced next-generation
prototypes for new development.
The 38-year-old upscale Residence Inn brand last month unveiled its 9th generation
design with a focus on upgrades to the product’s bathroom, workspace and overall
quality of furnishings and design. The first hotel to incorporate the new design
elements opened earlier this year in the Cherry Creek neighborhood of Denver.
Englewood, Colorado-based Stonebridge Companies owns and manages the 135-unit
“The main objectives of the project were to improve and fix some of the things we
didn’t go far enough in our last redesign,” said Diane Mayer, VP and global brand
manager for Residence Inn. “Two areas of focus were increasing the spaciousness of
the bathroom and having a bath experience that is a little more commensurate with
the residential experience our target customers have at home.”
Although the width of guest unit in the new design is six inches shorter than the
previous prototype, the Residence Inn design team took space out of the kitchen to
make the bathroom larger. Functionality of the kitchen was maintained through
several changes, Mayer said. For one, the entry to the suite was moved to the
center of the unit at the kitchen.
“The kitchen doesn’t feel any less spacious because the foyer now does double
duty,” she said. “The layout of the kitchen changed slightly so it is more of an
island, with the dining area also serving as the kitchen counter, which saves some
space. In all, it has the feel of a residential great room.”
A dressing area with a mirror and electrical outlets was added to the bath unit. The
shower compartment is 6 feet long with a glass door, and the bathroom includes
several shelves for guests to store toiletries and other items.
The guest workspace was another priority. It includes a 6-foot-wide desk that’s
been relocated to the living room facing a window and near a television. Electrical
outlets integrated into the desk are spaced wide enough so plugs don’t cover other
“The last iteration of our guest suite had the desk right at the entry door with (the
guest’s) back to the door of the suite,” Mayer said. “It was kind of in the middle of
the kitchen and while it had great TV views, it was small and guests told us they felt
kind of vulnerable to be sitting with the door to the suite so close to them.”
Some of the furniture in the unit, including a sectional sofa and the desk, were
introduced in a renovation upgrade several years ago. This, Mayer said, provides
consistency between existing properties and new builds.
“When we started the (renovation) project in 2010, we hoped as we came out of
the recession there would be a backlog of renovation activity,” she said. “We made
the decision to design the décor, including the furniture pieces, starting with the
renovations and then use the same décor and pieces for the new builds.”
Chain officials said most of the 30 additions to the 630-property chain in the next
year will follow the new prototype, and this year and next between 100 and 150
properties will complete renovations with the new décor package, including the
signature desk and sofa.
Navin C. Dimond, president and CEO of Stonebridge, said the new look provides
better ergonomics and convenience for guests.
“Sometimes, you can walk into a space that feels good to you, and (the new guest
unit) is a space that feels really good to guests,” said Dimond.
Mayer said the new prototype is cost-neutral versus the previous generation.
Savings were accomplished in a number of ways. Reducing the width of the suite
saved some money, as did changing the mix of room types and including only one
guest telephone in the unit. Dimond said the Cherry Creek property cost between
$140,000 and $160,000 per key, including land. Earlier this month, the company broke
ground on a Residence Inn in Pullman, Washington. The property, which is located
on the campus of Washington State University, will include all elements of the new
Residence Inn prototype.
In the new prototype, developers aren’t required to include two-bedroom units.
Mayer said in existing hotels they often go unsold or are offered to high-level
Marriott Rewards members as upgrades.
“That always doesn’t feel like an upgrade to the guest because if they’re only in the
hotel for one night, what are they going to do with a second bedroom?” she said.
“We made two bedrooms optional so it is completely at the owners’ discretion.”
A more efficient Value Place
While the focus on the Residence Inn redo is on the aesthetics and functionality of
the hotel, economy brand Value Place took a different approach in creating what
brand executives call Value Place 2.0.
“Unlike many next-generation products, Value Place 2.0 is more focused on the
economics of running a Value Place than it is on whether we like blue rather than
green, or whatever are the latest trends in colors or what guests may prefer today
rather than six months from now,” said Kyle Rogg, president and COO of the 10-year-
old chain founded by extended-stay pioneer Jack DeBoer. “People invest in Value
Place because they want to make money and this helps them do that.”
Chain officials said the cost to develop a prototype 124-room Value Place is between
$3.8 million and $5 million, plus land costs.
The new design includes 30 enhancements to the product, most of which are aimed
at increasing property operating efficiencies. The changes range from technology to
guestroom design. Energy savings is a high priority.
The new properties have 7,000-BTU packaged terminal air conditioning units with
remote management features to ensure units are in operation only when suites are
occupied. Corridors have LED lights, while motion detectors in guestrooms control
lighting. Chain executives say a new radio frequency identification guestroom
locking system eliminates the need to rekey cards and results in less wear and tear
on the opening mechanisms.
Housekeeping costs are another savings target. The new properties have hard-
surface floors and wall-hung furniture for easier and quicker cleaning. Rogg said the
changes should also appeal to guests.
“Cleanliness is both a reality and a feeling,” he said. “When we interviewed guests
about our new hard-surface flooring, they told us it feels cleaner to them. And for
us, it takes a little less staff time, which is hard to believe since we’re already
operating with 4.5 or 5 (full-time employees) per property.”
Evan Carzis, principal of DC Hospitality, owners of six Value Place properties, said his
firm has already adopted some of the design changes and expects to spend about
$800,000 to upgrade its hotels.
“It’s a much nicer look for the properties,” Carzis said. “And while the design is
more attractive and younger looking, it’s also easier to maintain and clean, which
will cut down on some of our operational expenses.”
Carzis said his firm will break ground on a new Value Place in New Jersey in
November and has “a couple of other sites either under contract or about to put
under contract” in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Rogg said initial results from the first new property with the changes are
encouraging. The hotel, which opened in late 2012 in Alpharetta, Georgia, had in its
first three months of operation electric bills 40% lower than comparable properties
with the same climate and geography, Rogg said.
All new Value Place properties will include the new standards, and existing
properties will incorporate many of the features as they upgrade. Rogg said the
company will use a carrot rather than a stick to persuade franchisees to adopt the
“We’re setting up some show properties in our corporate hotels to demonstrate to
our franchisees the rate (opportunities) and operational efficiencies,” Rogg said.
“We believe they will be highly motivated to make the changes when they see the
In January, New York-based private equity firm Lindsay Goldberg made a $100-million
investment in Value Place, which the company will use to do upgrades at its 45
company-owned properties (out of a system total of 181 hotels) and develop as many
as 50 additional corporate hotels in the next five years.
January 2, 2013 - USA Today
Two hotels under the same roof target two different clientele.
It's a two-for-one deal at many hotel properties across the country. And it's not
about getting a free night's stay.
Major hotel chains are now building two hotels on one property, some in the same
building, that target two very different clienteles.
The so-called dual-branded hotels are the latest way hotel developers are saving
money during tenuous economic times.
"It allows the owner to not only save on construction and operational costs from
combining services such as the pool or housekeeping department, but it also gives
them an opportunity to appeal to a wider array of potential clientele," says Glenn
Haussman, editor in chief of trade news site Hotel Interactive.
It's not unusual for two different hotels to share the same land. But sharing a
building or communal areas is a new strategy.
You won't find a Hilton and a Marriott in the same building. But you can find two
Hilton brands. Often it's an extended-stay hotel coupled with a limited- or even full-
• Earlier this year, Choice Hotels International unveiled a dual-brand hotel prototype
for its Sleep Inn and MainStay Suites brands. It combines features of each brand
such as Sleep Inn's signature tower and MainStay Suite's roofline in one building.
Shared features include the lobby, community room, fitness center and laundry.
• Marriott has a combined Residence Inn/Renaissance hotel in Alexandria, Va.
Residence Inn/Courtyard hotels are under development near the L.A. Live
entertainment complex in downtown Los Angeles. A JW Marriott/Ritz-Carlton
already is there.
• A new Courtyard/Residence Inn will open in late 2013 near Manhattan's Central
Park with views of the Hudson River and Times Square. The 68-story building will
house Courtyard rooms from floors six to 32 and extended-stay Residence Inn suites
from 36 to 64. They'll share a fitness facility, retail space, a restaurant, lounge and
outdoor seating overlooking Broadway.
The concept of two hotels in one, says Marriott spokeswoman Jessica Stadd, has "a
great return on investment and appeal to two different groups."
Hilton has 10 dual-branded properties across the country, each coupling an
extended-stay Homewood Suites with another brand such as Hilton Garden Inn and
Hampton Inn. Seven more will open in the next two years in the U.S. and Canada.
The most recent, a Homewood and Hilton Garden Inn, opened Dec. 20 in
Shreveport/Bossier City, La. Earlier this month, Hilton debuted a dual-branded
Hilton Garden Inn and Homewood Suites in Atlanta. The 12-story hotel has 136 Hilton
Garden Inn rooms and 92 Homewood studio suites. The lobby is split between the
two brands with two separate check-in desks and lodging and dining areas.
Communal areas include meeting rooms, a business center, pool and fitness center.
Dawn Koenig, vice president of brand performance support for Homewood Suites by
Hilton, says each brand tries to maintain its own identity even though they share
the same communal spaces and housekeeping staff.
Guests at Homewood Suites, for instance, get free breakfast every morning and
dinner a couple of times a week. Hilton Garden Inns, meanwhile, have restaurants.
Some tweaks have to be made because of the shared arrangement, such as serving
that free breakfast in a room that requires key card access.
Employee uniforms are made to look similar, and employees wear name badges with
each brand name on it, Koenig says. "We really work to find some great synergies if
we can," she says.
That said, each hotel maintains its own lobby and charges its own rate.
Koenig calls it a win-win for both the company and the guest. The company saves
money and the guest gets better common areas. For example, fitness centers and
pools tend to be bigger when the hotels combine forces, she says.
"Some of these public spaces we share typically become more robust," she says.
And, Haussman says, consumers get more of a choice. "For groups such as sports
teams or family reunions people can choose from two differently priced experiences
and still stay under the same roof," he says.
November 15, 2012 - PR Newswire
Extended Stay America Extends The Holidays By Providing An Affordable Home
Away From Home
Sleeping in the bathtub. Sharing a toothbrush with your Mother-in-Law. These
holiday traveler woes are the tip of the iceberg when spending the night with
relatives. A recent survey by Extended Stay America revealed 70 percent of
Americans have, at some point, wished they weren't staying with family during the
holidays. Extended Stay America wants to ease holiday hassles by providing
convenient amenities at affordable nightly rates so there's more time for family fun
instead of family feud.
More than half of participants surveyed* plan to spend less than $500 on travel this
season, which often means a trade in comfort for affordability. While staying with
relatives is budget-friendly, respondents have admittedly slept in interesting places
including the laundry room at Grandma's, a pool table, bathtub, damp basements and
even a backyard tent. More than half of respondents bickered over bathroom
scheduling, and admit it pushes their buttons when guests leave their belongings
around. Grown children, siblings and stepmother/mother-in-laws top the list as
relatives most likely to get sent packing first. With tensions building, it's no wonder
why 43 percent of hosts and houseguests spend more time recovering from holiday
travel than enjoying the company of loved ones.
This year, Extended Stay America gives the gift of value. More than just a hotel
room, Extended Stay America provides space for the whole family to unpack and
unwind, with plenty of storage to avoid "living out of a suitcase." Guests enjoy
upgraded amenities at a price Grandma's house can't beat, including free in-room Wi-
Fi to stay connected and flat-screen televisions with premium channels to watch
holiday favorites. On-site laundry centers allow for light packing on long trips and
fully-equipped kitchens with full-size refrigerators provide the option to reheat
leftovers. With 700 locations across 44 states, those nearest and dearest are never
far from an Extended Stay America.
Extended Stay America combines comfort with the convenient amenities of home,
offering a consistently fresh and clean experience, with spacious guest rooms
featuring refreshed amenities.
June 12, 2012 - CHPA Online
Corporate Housing Needs Greater Awareness, Poll Concludes
While over one million adult Canadians have stayed in a temporary residence for an
extended period at least once, very few of them seem to know that there are
facilities better suited than a hotel for this purpose. In a recent poll undertaken by
Ipsos-Reid for Premiere Executive Suites Limited, only five per cent of the target
market could name a single corporate housing provider.
“Clearly, our industry has to do a better job of creating awareness,” says Jeff
Brookhouser, President of Premiere Executive Suites, Canada’s largest provider of
corporate housing. “Even though we may be competing with each other for
customers’, we’re fighting over a very small proportion of a potentially much larger
customer base. If we can do a better job of making the market aware of our
existence, then there would be plenty of business to enable all of us to succeed.”
The Ipsos-Reid poll took the pulse of over 400 respondents, who were pre-qualified
to have stayed at least once in a non-family, temporary residence for at least 30
days. Their average length of stay was 63 days, and not surprisingly, the main
reasons for accessing their accommodation was either a temporary work assignment
or job relocation.
Yet most respondents stayed in hotels for those extended stays. Apparently it
wasn't by choice, but simply because they (or their companies) were unaware that
there are several corporate housing providers with lower cost, larger units and more
extensive services available.
“The survey indicated that the corporate housing market in Canada could see huge
growth, if the target market were aware of the corporate housing alternative,” said
Mr. Brookhouser. “The simple answer is for each provider to spend more on strategic
marketing. But it might be more effective if our industry spent less time competing
with each other, and instead work cooperatively to expand awareness through less
costly, more effective public relations initiatives.”
According to the latest figures available, corporate housing has become a $360
million business in Canada, but the Ipsos-Reid survey indicates that the potential
market is close to three times that size. The benefits of corporate housing versus
hotel accommodation are such that many corporate clients, and individuals, become
repeat clients once they’ve tasted the experience, says Mr. Brookhouser.
The challenge is getting to all the potential new clients, particularly at the time they’
re looking for such a service.
May 10, 2012 - PR.com
Corporate Housing Expected to Grow in Canada
The Canadian Chapter of the Corporate Housing Providers Association (CCHPA)
announces the release of the Corporate Housing Providers Association’s annual
report on the state of the corporate housing industry. This anticipated report, the
Corporate Housing Industry Report – 2012, indicates the corporate housing industry
is continuing to expand across Canada and is a $2.49 billion industry in North
The average rate increased across Canada while several factors decreased last year
such as occupancy, available units and average length of stay. With 4,567 units
reporting, the Canadian corporate housing industry was estimated to generate room
revenues of $169 million annually. Given the level of participation, experts believe
the overall share of lodging revenues is much greater than that estimation.
“The research on the industry in Canada is still young as compared to the data
available on the US market, which has been compiled for over a decade now,” says
CHPA’s Canada Chapter President, Jeffrey Brookhouser of Premiere Executive
Suites. “As corporate housing, or also known as executive suites, continues to
evolve in Canada, the awareness and use of these services will increase.”
Respondents reported that the Canadian market is expanding and they expect close
to a 15% increase in units in 2012 compared to 2011. In addition, the Canadian
corporate housing average rate rose sharply in 2011 to $127.01. This was a bigger
increase than in the US; however, the Canadian average rates are close in value to
the US because US and Canadian dollars are near parity.
The average length of stay in Canada was 66 nights in 2011, down from 80 nights in
2010. A contributing factor to the decline was the 2010 Winter Olympics in
Vancouver which resulted in an influx of long term stays. Also outside of Vancouver,
there was a trend towards shorter stays, perhaps in response to rate increases.
In addition to statistics for the Unites States, the report addresses several markets
in Canada in more detail. The Corporate Housing Industry Report – 2012 reported
statistics for Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver, Ottawa and Other Areas.
The numbers at a glance:
The Canadian market represents $169 million of the total $2.49 billion market
Canadian occupancy declined to 80% in 2011 compared to 81% in 2010.
Canadian corporate housing average rate increased 15% in 2011 to $127.01.
Based on the market statistic collected, the Canadian corporate housing market is
estimated at approximately 4,567 units.
Canadian corporate housing provider companies project as much as a 15% increase in
units in 2012 compared to 2011.
The complete report is available complimentary to members of the media. CCHPA
representatives are available for comments regarding the data and its application to
the corporate housing industry. Please contact Amanda Cook, email@example.com
or (317) 328-4631 for more information on interviews and article opportunities.
The Canada Chapter is a part of the Corporate Housing Providers Association (CHPA).
CHPA is the only trade association dedicated exclusively to the corporate housing
industry. The association continually strives to uphold the highest standards in
business and professionalism; provide valuable insight, knowledge and resources to
the industry; and increase visibility among related industries. Along with
networking, education, certification, and information sharing, CHPA members grow
their business and expand their reach through an international network of partners.
Find out more about corporate or furnished apartments at www.chpaonline.org.
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