Best Western Hotels & Resorts believes expanding its SureStay offerings with extended-stay brand SureStay Studio allows the company to capture more demand in the economy segment.
Editor’s note, 7 October 2019: The story has been updated to include pipeline numbers.
WASHINGTON—Executives at Best Western Hotels & Resorts see its new extended-stay brand, SureStay Studio, as a natural extension of the brand in the high-demand economy segment.
Best Western announced the launch of SureStay Studio on 5 October during the company’s annual brand conference.
The idea for an extended-stay version was part of the original SureStay concept, Best Western President and CEO David Kong said in an interview. The company ultimately decided that including an extended-stay version at launch would over-complicate SureStay, which already included three brands, he said.
Kong said there is a lot of demand for an extended-stay premier brand, as demonstrated by the nearly 80% occupancy in the economy segment.
SureStay Studio will appeal to a mix of guest types, he said. These guests include those who need a longer stay, such as for a relocation, as well as those who need more space, such as families traveling together, he said.
“We’ve seen all that in our extended-stay product today,” he said. “I don’t think it would be much different.”
Building the brand
During the conference’s morning general session, SVP and COO Ron Pohl said the SureStay brand has had “tremendous success,” with 180 hotels open in North America and 135 internationally since the brand launched two years ago. The brand has a revenue per available room index of 108 and a rate index of 120, he said.
“This creates another opportunity for us to build upon SureStay’s success,” he said.
The prototype for a new-construction SureStay Studio hotel has 67 rooms in a 32,000-square-foot building, Pohl said. The construction cost is estimated at about $60,000 per key. The brand is also suitable for conversions, he said.
The company reports having 10 SureStay Studio projects currently in its development pipeline.
Developers see opportunities for both new-build SureStay Studios and conversions, Kong said, noting they see the success in the existing SureStay brands and want to be part of it.
He said he doesn’t consider most of the other extended-stay products in the market to be competition as they lack the booking engine, sales and marketing and loyalty program to match Best Western’s.
“We are the far superior choice over some of these options that developers have today,” he said.
The company sees the possibility of pairing SureStay Studio with another one of its brands to create dual-branded properties, which are highly advantageous, Kong said.
After launching the SureStay brands in 2016, the boutique brands Aiden and Sadie in late 2018 and now SureStay Studio, there are no plans currently to add more brands to Best Western’s portfolio of 17, he said.
Editor’s note: Best Western Hotels & Resorts paid for meals, registration fees, flights and accommodations at the Residence Inn National Harbor to attend its brand conference. Complete editorial control was at the discretion of the Hotel News Now editorial team; Best Western had no influence on the coverage provided.