IHG to launch new mid-scale brand
Project Horizon hotels will be priced about US$10 to $15 less than hotels in the Holiday Inn Express brand
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) revealed plans to launch Project Horizon, a new mid-scale brand, during its 2017 Americas conference for hotel owners held in Las Vegas.
According to a statement from IHG, the new brand aims to target the traveller who seeks the type of hospitality with "the basics done exceptionally well", at a price point which will be about US$10 to $15 less than the group's Holiday Inn Express brand.
“This new brand builds on IHG’s leading position in the mid-scale segment alongside Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express. It addresses the needs of a rapidly growing and underserved segment and we believe it will shape the future of this unique mid-scale category. This launch will extend our track record of innovation and brand development, with a new offering that is right for our guests, our owners and our shareholders," said IHG chief executive officer Richard Solomons in a statement.
The name, logo and other brand elements will be announced later this year, IHG has stated. Initial features of the brand include:
- Rooms designed for sound sleep: Project Horizon hotels will place an investment in quality mattress and linens, designed to help reduce noise and feature intuitive in-room climate control. Guest rooms will feature a built-in work space, open closet storage with luggage shelf, a good shower and a smart TV.
- Hotel amenities: Hotels will feature public spaces which will include a mix of seating designed for travellers looking to spend 30 to 45 minutes in the lobby working, socialisng or enjoying a complimentary breakfast. Optional amenities include a pool and porte cochere based upon market dynamics.
- Technology: Project Horizon will include a cloud-based next generation reservation system, mobile check-in and check-out and IHG Connect enhanced Wi-Fi. Rooms will also feature enhanced in-room entertainment options which allows guests to cast content from their smart devices to in-room TVs.
- Complimentary breakfast: Breakfast will be offered to guests to grab and go or enjoy in the lobby, alongside a premium coffee experience to start the day off right, which will provide owners with a simple, low-cost operating model. Hotels will also offer a curated market for food, beverage and personal items in the lobby.
- New build: Project Horizon hotels will be designed for new build construction.The prototype design will average 95 to 100 keys with a minimum of three stories.
IHG expects the brand to be franchise-ready in the fall of 2017 with the first hotels beginning construction in early 2018 and opening in 2019. Initial development will be focused in the U.S. market and there has been no announcement of the brand's international expansion as of yet from the hotel group.
The introduction of Project Horizon follows after IHG's latest mid-market brand updates, which involved new guestroom designs and a new F&B solution, for its Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express and Staybridge Suites brands.