HM on location: Best Western debuts extended-stay SureStay Studio

The SureStay Studio new-build prototype features 67 guestrooms.

NATIONAL HARBOR, MD.—Best Western Hotels & Resorts launched its newest brand SureStay Studio at its 2019 Best Western North American Convention and Global Conference Sat., Oct. 5. The extended-stay brand joins SureStay, SureStay Plus and SureStay Collection as the fourth member of the company’s SureStay Hotel Group.

Ron Pohl, SVP and chief operations officer at Best Western Hotels & Resorts, told attendees SureStay Studio is intended for both conversion and new construction. Its 32,000-square-foot, 67-room prototype, he said, comes with a construction cost estimate under $60,000 a key. Pohl told Hotel Management he estimates the new brand may end up only 25 percent new construction.

“That’s really more so because that’s the cycle we’re in right now,” Pohl said, noting new construction is slowing across all segments right now. “There’s a lot of extended-stay products out there that with the right renovation would make sense and see a lift in moving to SureStay Studio—especially if it performs similar to the rest of the SureStay brand.”

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As far as the cost of conversion, Pohl guessed a typical 60-room hotel would probably end up around $300,000. “There are some very nice extended-stay products out there that might be with another brand that could convert very easily. There are others that aren’t, so it’s going to take more.”

The brand is six months out, “best case scenario,” from its first open hotel, according to Pohl. Still, he projected the brand will be on track to open 20 to 30 hotels a year as soon as 2020. As far as location, Pohl estimated SureStay Studio will probably end up splitting roughly 90:10 between North America and the global market.

David Kong, president/CEO of Best Western Hotels & Resorts, said the company has been planning SureStay Studio since the launch of the SureStay brand three years ago. However, he said, Best Western decided to wait and see how the brand performed and launch SureStay Studio once its brand siblings got off the ground. Kong noted that there are no plans to launch any further SureStay brands.

“SureStay Hotel Group is the perfect home for a premium-economy extended-stay brand and the launch of SureStay Studio comes at a critical time,” Brad LeBlanc, SVP and chief development officer at Best Western Hotels & Resorts, said in a statement. “The economy extended-stay segment is hot right now. As one of the most profitable segments in the industry, we’re seeing growing demand from both developers and travelers. SureStay Studio is a value-engineered prototype offering developers strong [return on investment].”

Launched in October 2016, SureStay Hotel Group is expected to surpass 300 locations globally by the end of the year. Best Western Hotels & Resorts encompasses 17 brands and approximately 4,700 hotels.

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