IHG launches midscale conversion brand

IHG Hotels & Resorts has named its new midscale conversion brand announced last week: Garner - an IHG Hotel. Garner will have a lower price point and conversion cost per key than the Holiday Inn Express brand, and will complement IHG’s new-build midscale brand, Avid hotels, as the focus on accelerating growth in the segment continues.

“Garner is another exciting step forward in the transformation of our brand portfolio, bringing to the midscale market a brand we know owners and guests want from IHG,” IHG CEO Elie Maalouf said in a statement. “Owners are attracted to the benefits of IHG’s global scale, strong enterprise, technology platforms and leading IHG One Rewards program, supported by our proven success in developing, launching and growing brands. We have already received more than 100 definitive expressions of interest in Garner, which demonstrates the strong potential in the segment.”

IHG developed the brand based on “feedback and insight” from owners seeking a “high-quality conversion brand at a lower price point.” In addition to accessing IHG’s global sales organization, low-cost distribution systems and lower procurement costs, IHG expects owners to appreciate the company’s “flexible” approach to conversions. IHG will work with each owner and property site to evaluate the level of renovation required.

“Garner will give owners and guests what they’ve been missing in the midscale space,” said Jen Gribble, SVP, global marketing mainstream brands, IHG Hotels & Resorts. “Our style is refreshingly approachable, which appeals to all types of guests.”

The hotels will have a front desk team available 24/7, lobbies that are designed to help guests unwind and IHG Digital Check-in for arrivals. The lobby will provide flavored water for guests on arrival and snacks will be available for purchase. The complimentary breakfasts will include sandwiches, egg bowls, yogurt parfait and fruit. For guests traveling with pets, the hotels also will provide welcome treats, loaner items and outdoor relief stations. 

Garner will be ready to franchise initially in the U.S. by early September, with the first hotels expected to open by the end of 2023. IHG expects the brand to reach more than 500 hotels over the next 10 years and 1,000 hotels over the next 20 years in the U.S. alone. The midscale segment in the U.S. represents a $14 billion market today that is set to reach $18 billion in hotel revenue by 2030.