June 23, 2008 // Franchising.com // Following the success of Staybridge Suites in North America, this week sees the opening of ground-breaking properties in Liverpool and Cairo.
As the fastest growing hotel segment in the US, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) - which owns the brand - are leading the way in the introduction of the extended stay concept to Europe and across the Middle East, aimed at guests who usually stay for more than five nights.
The 132-suite Staybridge Suites Liverpool hotel was officially opened by Andrew Cosslett, IHG's CEO. In keeping with its philosophy of combining the best of home and hotel, guests were welcomed to the UK's first Staybridge Suites hotel following the symbolic fireplace-lighting ceremony.
Speaking at the opening event Andrew Cosslett said: "Liverpool has been very much in the international spotlight this year as the European Capital of Culture and it is therefore a fitting destination for us to introduce our very first Staybridge Suites extended-stay hotel, outside the Americas."
"Our research indicates there's a growing type of traveller who is away from home for many days, or even weeks at a time and would prefer their hotel to feel more like home compared to a regular hotel. It is this gap between conventional hotels and serviced apartments that Staybridge Suites' homely combination of the domestic environment with traditional hotel services has been designed to bridge. From an owner perspective, the brand provides a great investment opportunity thanks to the comparatively low build cost and the stable revenues that one can expect in the extended-stay market, making us confident that the concept will succeed this side of the Atlantic."
The hotel group took advantage of the launch event to showcase future developments across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). Staybridge Suites Cairo CityStars was confirmed as opening its doors in just a few days time, Saturday 21 June 2008, for the first stage of the hotel's phased opening. This property will be the fourth IHG hotel within the innovative CityStars retail complex.
Meanwhile, IHG's expansion into Russia's growing business and leisure markets continues with agreements also signed today to build the country's first two Staybridge Suites properties. Speaking of the Russian developments Cosslett commented: "IHG is already the biggest hotel operator in Russia and, with the strong demand for internationally-branded hotels combined with a booming economy, we are confident the extended-stay concept will be warmly received."
The 176-room Staybridge Suites St. Petersburg - Moskovskaya Vorota was signed under a franchise agreement with Light Road LLC. The owners are due to unveil the first Holiday Inn in the city this November and the new Staybridge property, expected to open in Spring 2009, will be built on the same site.
Management contracts for both the 78-suite Staybridge Suites Nizhny Novgorod and the adjoining 202-room Crowne Plaza Nizhny Novgorod were also signed with the Clover Group. Nizhny Novgorod is the fourth largest and one of the most rapidly developing cities in the Russian Federation.
For more information on Staybridge Suites, visit http://www.staybridge.co.uk/ or call 0800 988 4663.
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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