New NYC Holiday Inn Heralds Aggressive Pace for Worldwide Brand Relaunch

1,000 Properties Will Feature New Sign and Brand Standards Within Next Six Months

June 09, 2008 // Franchising.com // ATLANTA - The new Holiday Inn sign introduced in 2007 is making its way around the world. And today, IHG reveals the first 60 properties to receive this green beacon of hospitality, with plans for it to reach one-third of the Holiday Inn system, or 1,000 hotels, by year end.

The new sign is the seal of approval for guests that the hotel exemplifies the standards of the $1 billion Holiday Inn brand relaunch program established to create a more contemporary brand image, increase quality and service, and drive consistency. Among the first hotels to receive the sign as part of the relaunch is the newly constructed Holiday Inn-Manhattan 6th Avenue, which opens its doors to guests June 19.

"We have set an aggressive pace to relaunch our complete estate of nearly 3,200 hotels, 413,406 guest rooms and 11,000 signs by the beginning of 2010 in the Americas and by the end of 2010 for the global estate," said Mark Snyder, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Brand Management for Holiday Inn. "And with one of the first hotels being in a market like New York City, we are boldly proclaiming that we are off and running on our journey to make every Holiday Inn hotel as great as our best one."

Since announcing the global relaunch, IHG has signed more than 250 new Holiday Inn development deals. These new deals bring the total Holiday Inn pipeline to more than 1,000 hotels globally and 904 in the Americas, which is a 20-year high for the brand.

"We just completed an 18-city tour of the Americas to meet with our owners - providing them with a forum to ask their hardest questions about the relaunch - and the response has been overwhelmingly positive," said John Merkin, senior vice president of brand management for Holiday Inn, Americas. "We believe the 20-year record signings pace we are experiencing is proof of a truly mutual commitment to ensuring that Holiday Inn remains the most recognized and most popular hotel brand in the world."

The first hotels selected to take part in the relaunch represent a cross section of the brand's estate, with both new and existing Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express hotels of varying sizes and styles. The hotels are in markets that range from urban city centers like Pittsburgh and Dallas-Ft. Worth, to destinations like Destin Fla. and Charleston, S.C.

New York City represents the largest of these markets. And the Holiday Inn-Manhattan 6th Avenue provides a significant opportunity to introduce the new look, feel and service of the brand to the city's more than 20 million annual visitors and 8 million residents. The newly constructed, 24-story hotel is located at 125 West 26th Street, in the thriving Manhattan neighborhood of Chelsea. With a contemporary style and fresh, natural color palette, the hotel personifies the brand's new design philosophy. The exterior and lobby areas provide a warm welcome with the new identity and signature scent and sounds. And its 226 guest rooms feature the brand's signature bedding and bathroom amenities. The Holiday Inn-Manhattan 6th Ave. is the 20th Holiday Inn property in New York City market; with an additional 10 in the pipeline - five of which are in Manhattan.

Brand Relaunch Program Elements Include:

Redesigned Brand Signage

An evolution of the iconic script logo, energizing the signature color green and eliminating the current shield shape for a more refreshed and contemporary look.

Refreshed Guest Room

New bedding that redefines the look and feel of each guest room with fresh, white triple-sheeting and pillows that come in two comfort levels: "soft" and "firm." An enhanced bathroom that features an improved showerhead offering superior pressure, as well as a signature shower curtain with curved rod and new amenities to deliver a consistent bath experience that feels fresh and contemporary.

Warm Welcome

A new signature arrival - including new lighting, landscaping and design features - that creates an energized and branded sense of welcome that is universally recognizable. Customized music and scent selections also engage guests in a complete sensory experience, and a decluttered front desk to promote a more efficient and interactive check-in process.

New Service Promise

A best-in-class service culture - "Stay Real" - to further ensure the team develops the behaviors and skills to best serve guests so they feel like individuals and not numbers. Genuine people delivering real service. Leading the charge, will be a newly created position at each hotel - the Guest Experience Champion.

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) [LON:IHG, NYSE:IHG (ADRs)] is one of the world's largest hotel groups by number of rooms. IHG owns, manages, leases or franchises, through various subsidiaries, almost 4,000 hotels and more than 590,000 guest rooms in nearly 100 countries and territories around the world. The Group owns a portfolio of well recognised and respected hotel brands including InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn® Hotels and Resorts, Holiday Inn Express®, Staybridge Suites®, Candlewood Suites® and Hotel Indigo®, and also manages the world's largest hotel loyalty programme, Priority Club® Rewards with over 37 million members worldwide.

IHG pioneered the travel industry's first collaborative response to environmental issues as founder of the International Hotels and Environment Initiative (IHEI). The environment and local communities remain at the heart of IHG's global corporate responsibility focus. IHG is the first major hotel group to have measured the environmental and carbon footprints of hotels that operate under our brands globally and is in the process of setting reduction targets.

With more than 1,600 hotels in its development pipeline, IHG needs to recruit around 150,000 people over the next few years to meet its global expansion plans.

InterContinental Hotels Group PLC is the Group's holding company and is incorporated in Great Britain and registered in England and Wales.

IHG offers information and online reservations for all its hotel brands at www.ihg.com and information for the Priority Club Rewards programme at www.priorityclub.com. For the latest news from IHG, visit our online Press Office at www.ihg.com/media

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