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IHG to launch new midscale hotel brand

26 June 2017 by

InterContinental Hotels Group revealed plans to launch a new midscale brand this week, however the brand does not yet have a name.

The brand, initially dubbed ‘Project Horizon', will offer "the basics done exceptionally well" at a price point approximately $10-15 (£7-12) less than IHG's Holiday Inn Express brand. The name, logo and other brand elements will be announced later this year.

IHG expects the brand to be franchise-ready this autumn with the first hotels beginning construction in early 2018 and opening in 2019. Initial development will be focused in the US market.

Initial features of the brand include high-quality mattresses and linens, noise-reducing design and intuitive in-room climate control. Guest rooms will offer a built-in work space, open closet storage, shower and smart TV.

The hotels are also expected to feature a cloud-based reservation system, mobile check-in and check-out and enhanced Wi-Fi, with in-room entertainment options allowing guests to cast content from their smart devices to their TVs.

A select number of brand-name breakfast options for guests to grab and go or enjoy in the lobby will be available, alongside "a premium coffee experience", and hotels will be designed for new build construction to provide consistency. The prototype design features 95-100 keys with a minimum of three storeys.

The new brand will be the company's 13th, alongside Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, Hotel Indigo and InterContinental.

Richard Solomons, chief executive of IHG, said: "This new brand builds on IHG's leading position in the midscale segment alongside Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express. It addresses the needs of a rapidly growing and underserved segment and we believe it will shape the future of this unique midscale category. This launch will extend our track record of innovation and brand development, with a new offering that is right for our guests, our owners and our shareholders."

Elie Maalouf, chief executive of IHG Americas, added: "These travellers will often spend hours researching hotels to find a great and affordable lodging experience in this segment. When they can't find it, they compromise, accepting lower standards and an inconsistent experience to get the price they want. We will change that with this new brand by delivering a superior guest experience that doesn't currently exist at this price point. It's a game changer and a huge opportunity to build scale, strong brand awareness and great financial performance for our owners."

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