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IHG announces multiple dual-branded hotel developments for the U.S.

New Crowne Plaza hotel in vibrant midtown Atlanta with plans for Staybridge Suites property on top floors is first of several set to open over the next four years.

ATLANTA – InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) announced plans for multiple dual-branded hotel developments across the U.S., with the first of them to open in Atlanta this week. Owned by AWH Partners, LLC, and operated by Spire Hospitality, the Atlanta hotel will be franchised by an affiliate of IHG. Located in the hometown of IHG Americas corporate headquarters, the 501-room Hotel Melia will convert to a Crowne Plaza hotel and will immediately undergo a total renovation, ultimately creating a 360-room Crowne Plaza hotel. By January of 2016, the property will open within the same building a 102-room Staybridge Suites hotel. Other development plans for dual-branded IHG hotels include a Holiday Inn and Candlewood Suites hotel for Joliet, Illinois, a Crowne Plaza and Staybridge Suites hotel for San Diego and an IHG-managed Hotel Indigo and Holiday Inn Express hotel for Austin, Texas.

“IHG’s track record remains strong. We are well-placed to grow market share with a high-quality pipeline and through continued innovative guest offerings including dual-branded properties,” said Kirk Kinsell, president, the Americas, IHG. “These hotels are ideal for urban and suburban destinations alike and we are excited that one is opening right here in Atlanta.”

The dual-branded model allows for operating efficiencies yet doesn’t compromise the distinct offerings guests have come to know and expect from each IHG brand. While they typically share the same building structure or services such as fitness centers, pools and food & beverage facilities, some back-of-the-house operations may also be shared or separate. With a broad portfolio of brands that service diverse stay occasions – be it leisure, business, extended-stay or family travel – and spanning a variety of price points, IHG is well-placed to offer guests an exemplary experience.

“Dual-branded hotels are attractive for our owners because they are able to achieve construction cost savings, through shared facilities such as meeting space, swimming pools, fitness facilities and back-of-house areas, as well as operational savings, through shared services,” said Joel Eisemann, chief development officer, the Americas, IHG. “With a dual-branded property, our owners are able to cater to many different stay occasions in the same location while generating a more profitable bottom line.”

In addition to the new dual-branded Crowne Plaza hotel and Staybridge Suites hotel in Atlanta, IHG has the following dual-branded properties in the pipeline:

  • Joliet, Illinois – A dual-branded new-build 120-room Holiday Inn hotel and 100-room Candlewood Suites® hotel is expected to open by fall 2015 and will be developed by Hospitality Guru Group.
  • Austin, Texas – Being developed by JCI Companies and managed by IHG, a dual-branded new-build of a 134-room Hotel Indigo hotel and 171-room Holiday Inn Express hotel in downtown Austin is expected to open by year end 2016.
  • San Diego – A new-build 186-room Crowne Plaza hotel and 146-room Staybridge Suites hotel is expected to open by fall 2017 and is being developed by Vanderval Hotels.

With more than 700 hotels in the Americas development pipeline and over 600 of them in the United States alone, IHG is committed to innovative guest experiences across its family of brands. All IHG-branded hotels participate in IHG’s guest loyalty program, IHG Rewards Club, which is the industry’s first and largest guest loyalty program with nearly 79 million members.

IHG’s Green Engage Program Advances Water Conservation Efforts in California
IHG also announced that IHG’s patented Green Engage program, the online sustainability program used by more than 2,700 IHG-branded hotels worldwide, is helping hotels address the drought conditions in California. IHG is targeting a reduction in water usage in water-stressed areas by 12% globally by 2017. To support this global effort on a local scale, IHG Green Engage Water Conservation Kits were sent to 230 IHG hotels in California, including Crowne Plaza, Hotel Indigo and Holiday Inn hotels.

The resources in the Water Conservation Kits include details on how hotels can actively participate in conserving water, with tips on IHG Green Engage Green Solutions to implement, as well as examples of how other hotels have been successful in their water conservation efforts. The kits also include aerators to easily install on water faucets to contribute to the potential savings of over 77 million gallons of water per year in California. Guestrooms are the primary source of water usage in hotels (estimated 30%), and aerators can help save water used in guestroom sinks.

“Hotels are an important part of the local communities where we live and work, and many of the 230 California hotels in IHG’s family are already conserving water and playing an active role in the drought solution,” said Paul Snyder, vice president, Corporate Responsibility, and Global Lead on Sustainability, IHG. “IHG hotels in California have implemented almost 2,000 IHG Green Engage Green Solutions to conserve water, energy and waste. We are encouraging hotels to take another look at their sustainability journey to discover more opportunities to conserve. That could be installing the aerators and implementing the new IHG Green Engage benchmarking tool to drive results through data.”

The IHG Green Engage program was built to provide a comprehensive environmental management system that helps hotels leverage data to drive results through Green Solutions. Research shows that over 70% of frequent travelers prefer hotels that are engaged with their environment, and the IHG Green Engage program assists with driving guest preference. Earlier this year, the IHG Green Engage program became aligned with two well-known, third party certifications – LEED and Green Key Global (GKG) – to help streamline the process for IHG hotels to achieve these certifications.

“The California Hotel & Lodging Association is pleased to support IHG’s leadership and proactive efforts to promote and encourage water conservation in their hotels,” said Lynn S. Mohrfeld, President & CEO of the California Hotel and Lodging Association. “It is especially important due to the current drought and continued stress on our valuable water supply. We’re working together to refine practices and identify important advancements in water conservation across the state.”

The IHG Green Engage Green Solutions under water conservation include energy efficient appliances such as washers, dryers and dishwashers; low flow showerheads, toilets and waterless urinals. Others include water zoning for irrigation, rainwater harvesting and treatments and native plants. The Hotel Indigo San Diego-Gaslamp Quarter property has a garden with native plants, requiring little water, covering nearly 40 percent of the rooftop to create a greenhouse effect.

“Taking on the responsibility of being a sustainable business is a win-win,” said Tony Lovoy, general manager, Hotel Indigo San Diego-Gaslamp Quarter. “It builds employee pride and a strong culture. People want to work for businesses that are doing the right thing. Our staff is also proud to share our sustainability efforts with our guests and many are inspired to do more to be environmentally responsible at home.”

The InterContinental San Francisco, a LEED Gold hotel, saves an estimated two million gallons of water a year with low flow faucets, toilets and other back of house water restriction features. The hotel implemented a sustainable HVAC cooling water treatment system that has contributed to about one million gallons of water saved per year. The hotel is taking it a step further by installing waterless urinals in all public restrooms, estimated to save a another half million gallons of water per year.

The Crowne Plaza San Diego – Mission Valley hotel is nearly 100% below their average water benchmark in the IHG Green Engage system (measured against hotels with a similar footprint) and has targeted another 1% water savings this year with the potential to add $5,000 to the bottom line. The hotel installed the IHG Green Engage Water Conservation Kit aerators on kitchen sinks and has found that timers on water features such as filtration and sprinklers have also assisted with conservation efforts.

The new IHG Green Engage program targets for 2013 – 2017 include reducing carbon footprint per occupied room by 12% across the entire portfolio; and reducing water use per occupied room in water-stressed areas by 12%.

Photo caption: The InterContinental San Francisco, guestroom.

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She holds a Bachelor's degree in Communication & Mass Media from Panteion University of Political & Social Studies of Athens and she has been editor and editor-in-chief in various economic magazines and newspapers.

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