New York – For Wyndham Worldwide, 2013 was all about expansion. Wyndham President and CEO Geoff Ballotti began his post-NYU International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference briefing by stating it opened 66,000 new hotel rooms and 70 new properties last year, and spent $17 million on a national marketing campaign to promote its brands.
But the biggest news came with details on new property prototypes of the Wingate, Hawthorne and Days Inn brands. Bill Hoy, SVP of development planning & construction for Wyndham Worldwide, emphasized LEED guidance and a reduction on guestroom and overall square footage for Wingate properties.
According to Hoy, Wingate properties will be dropping from approximately 54,000 square feet to 49,000 square feet by reducing the number of meeting rooms, cutting down on lobby size and building smaller bathrooms in the guestroom. These changes also allow for two additional guestrooms per property.
Hawthorne Suites by Wyndham properties are receiving similar treatment, with the new prototype dropping property sizes from 72,000 square feet to 54,000 while picking up 12 more rooms and saving more than $42,000 per key during the construction phase.
Wyndham’s Days Inn brand revealed a new hotel prototype two years ago, and Marian Goodman, CEO of hotel operator Sky Hospitality, was on hand to talk about her experiences in opening three such properties over a five-week period. The Belmont Days Inn & Suites in Ohio was opened for $47,000 per key and is operating at an average daily rate of $113.
Gus Stamoutsos, EVP of franchise sales for the Wyndham Hotel Group, said that Wyndham’s rewards program is also showing strength with 28.5 million total members, 8.8 million of them active in the program. Additionally, 61 percent of loyalty business for Wyndham brands was found to be represented by members who enrolled in the program through a different Wyndham brand.
Meanwhile, Microtel brand has 75 new properties in its construction pipeline for Canada. SVP Patrick Breen described a repositioning effort underway for the brand, which now has only one bed size to reduce the time needed for housekeeping to flip a room, and addressed brand imagery problems.
“One thing we did was add ‘by Wyndham’ to the Microtel name,” Breen said. “Some people still don’t know a Microtel is a hotel.”