Through brand launches and acquisitions, InterContinental Hotels Group has been setting itself up to take advantage of new growth opportunities in the coming years, the company’s CEO of the Americas said in a video interview.
LOS ANGELES—InterContinental Hotels Group has been strengthening its organization and setting its strategy for a new decade of growth, said Elie Maalouf, CEO of the Americas at IHG.
During a video interview with Hotel News Now at the 2020 Americas Lodging Investment Summit, Maalouf said the industry has had it good the last 10 years, and as everyone readies to go into the 2020s, IHG sees more opportunity. Along with its category killer brands of Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express, the company has launched a handful of new brands in recent years, such as Atwell Suites and Avid Hotels, which have since taken off, he said.
After launching Avid in 2017, it’s been IHG’s fastest growing brand, he said. The company has more than 200 signed deals and more than 80 under construction, he said.
“We continue to see strong interest in a segment that we did not play in, which was the transient midscale, limited-service segment,” he said. “We saw a need from customers and from owners that want us to have that product and a need we were not addressing. By addressing it with the right, thoughtful brand and the right way, we’ve seen a lot of traction.”
Atwell Suites, which launched in May 2019, went into franchise sales in September 2019 and is already bringing in a great deal of interest from owners and a number of franchise applications, he said. The company recently announced the new brand’s first handful of anticipated markets are Charlotte, North Carolina; Phoenix, Denver and the San Francisco Bay area.
Five years ago IHG acquired Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants and grew the most successful boutique brand in the U.S. to have a global presence, Maalouf said. There are 32 Kimpton hotels under development around the world in places such as Barcelona, Bali, Mexico City, Paris and London, he said.
“We've really proven out our thesis of taking Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants to the leading boutique position in the world,” he said.
A year after IHG’s acquisition of Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas, there are 18 Six Senses properties open and another 22 deals in the pipeline at various stages of development in locations such as the Galapagos Islands and Chelsea, New York, Maalouf said.
“We’re pleased with the progress that we’ve made with the brands that we’ve launched and with the brands that we’ve acquired,” he said.