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Hilton execs offer updates on several brand strategies
February 3 2010

During interviews at the Americas Lodging Investment Summit, Hilton Worldwide executives discussed brand refreshers for Hilton Garden Inn, and pipeline details for Homewood Suites and Home2 Suites.

By Shawn A. Turner
HNN contributor

SAN DIEGO—Hilton Worldwide executives unveiled the refreshed looks of Hilton Garden Inn and talked pipeline in interviews with HotelNewsNow.com during the Americas Lodging Investment Summit in San Diego last week.

For Hilton Garden Inn, the key words for 2010 will be: “light, bright and airy,” said Adrian M. Kurre, global head of Hilton Garden Inn.

Adrian Kurre

As part of the initiative, Hilton Garden Inn is planning to move tables associated with its lobby bar closer. Customers sitting at those tables have found it more difficult to raise the attention of servers in the bar area.

“Have you ever watched Star Trek?” Kurre asked. “It’s like the servers are wearing some sort of Star Trek shock collar and they just can’t cross over (to serve the customers.)”

Also, the hotelier has plans to do additional work on its meeting space, and give the space a little bit more of an open feel.

“People want to be alone, but not lonely,” he said.

Hilton Garden Inn plans to push the strategy in 2011. He said it will take five to seven years to implement the changes.

Homewood Suites and Home2 Suites openings

Meanwhile, Home2 Suites and Homewood Suites are looking to grow their presence, said Bill Duncan, global head of the two extended-stay brands.

Bill Duncan

Home2 expects to open its first property during the fourth quarter. The brand has 50 deals in its pipeline.

 Homewood Suites, which currently operates more than 285 properties and 26,800 suites, plans to open at least 20 more locations in 2010 and has 110 projects in the pipeline, Duncan said.

“We had some slippage last year from what we can tell,” Duncan said, when asked whether some of those projects might be pushed back, “but from what we can tell, they’re pretty firm.”

The company didn’t offer forth any major announcements during ALIS, and that was by design, Duncan said.

“Our plan for 2010 is to let the hotels continue to recover,” Duncan said.

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