The Elton John song, Holiday Inn, is about 40 years old. InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) went through a billion dollar makeover of Holiday Inn in the past two years to shed that 40 year old image of the world’s best known hotel brand.
IHG announced it will dump older, poorly performing properties, about 300 franchisees of the Holiday Inn brand if the hotels do not remodel to the new style as of February 1, 2010. Hotels must meet minimum property standards, install signs with the new logo, upgrade lighting, remodel the lobby, and update bedding.
The cost to franchisees in these tough economic times is $150,000 to $250,000 for upgrading the property. IHG has set an end-of-year 2010 timeline for upgrade completions. Dropping 300 older hotels from the Holiday Inn portfolio is projected to reduce the average age of Holiday Inn properties from 26 years old to 15 years old. Since Holiday Inn is a 57 year old brand and the properties in consideration here are only about 20% of the portfolio, I think these must be some really old Holiday Inns.
Pictures can show the difference between an older Holiday Inn and the new style. Here is a photo I took in 2008 of the Holiday Inn Santa Clara which was certainly a step below the other major brand hotels on Great America Parkway with a Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott on the same stretch of road. This property recently rebranded in summer 2009 as the remodeled Best Western Avatar. And I see the Best Western management is actively working the TripAdvisor reviews and currently sits at #2 hotel for Santa Clara. That must have been some hotel remodel.
Henderson, Nevada is an example of the new Holiday Inn brand style.
Henderson, Nevada is a newly built Holiday Inn.
“And you ain’t seen nothing till you’ve been
In a motel baby like the Holiday Inn”
-Elton John, “Holiday Inn” from the album Madman Across the Water
Sources: Kris Hudson – Wall Street Journal – http://blogs.wsj.com/developments/2009/11/12/contemporize-or-else-300-holiday-inns-may-lose-their-brand-name/