ORLANDO, FLA. -- At this year’s Red Roof Brand Conference in Orlando, Fla., Andrew Alexander, president of Red Roof Inn, announced a new addition to the brand’s ongoing $150-million ‘NextGen’ hotel renovation program. Now, hotels in full compliance with NextGen requirements are given to opportunity to upgrade to a Red Roof Plus+ property, bringing with it a new premium room type and additional design enhancements.
Properties that have completed a full upgrade in compliance with Red Roof’s NextGen program, including upgraded guestroom interiors, casegoods, flooring and bedding, have the option to become a Plus property. Along with a new premium room type, Plus properties are identified by exterior decoration including LED lighting, landscaping at the hotel entrance and a lighted canopy to attract attention to the property.
Alexander stressed that Red Roof Plus is not a new brand, but a higher-tier property under the existing Red Roof brand. The decision to go ahead with this tiered upgrade strategy stems from the high number of existing Red Roof properties currently under renovation.
“We can’t change the style of our buildings,” Alexander said. “Many of our hotels are 40 years old. Sixty-five percent of our business still comes from walk-in guests, so we needed to find a way to make the outside of our building attractive, showing that there is something new and exciting with the property as a result of our interior renovations.”
Surveys from Market Metrics prove merit behind the project, with test runs done on 29 corporate-managed Red Roof Plus properties that have completed NextGen renovations. These enhancements resulted in an increase of $12 in average daily rate over other tiers in the Red Roof catalogue, bringing ADR to $70.77 per night, raising occupancy an average of 70 percent and raising RevPAR to $49.52.
Additionally, Red Roof is requiring its Plus properties to be completely smoke free. “We have the data from Market Metrics, and the surveys and reviews tell us customers are more likely to stay more often in a smoke-free hotel,” Alexander said.
Due to the investment involved in upgrading a property to comply with Red Roof’s NextGen standards – thereby being eligible to become a Plus property – Alexander expects approximately 8 percent of the brand’s hotels to make the push for Plus. “It isn’t for every operator in every market,” Alexander said. “The costs make it difficult, but there are markets where it can work and we are giving guests and franchisees the choice on whether or not to go through with it.”
Thirty more Red Roof Properties will be completing the upgrade to Red Roof Plus properties by Q1 2014.