July 01, 2009 // Franchising.com // Spokane, WA - Red Lion Hotels Corporation's (NYSE: RLH) plush toy mascot "Red, the Lion," has developed quite a following since his launch in 1998. Originally conceived as a corporate trade show promotional giveaway, he's become a sought after take-home gift by guests staying at Red Lion hotels. As Red's popularity grew, Red Lion began receiving unsolicited pictures and travel stories of Red from guests and associates. Building on this, today Red Lion has launched a social-media site dedicated to Red - whereintheworldisred.com. The site is a community where pet, brand, and "Red" loyalists can share travel experiences, exchange information, seek ideas, and post pictures and stories of their journeys with Red.
"Sometimes, the best branding ideas aren't created top down, they're created bottom up. This is certainly the case with our mascot, Red. I've personally been approached by people at conferences and asked whether I have any Reds to give them," said Anupam Narayan, President and CEO, Red Lion Hotels. "The following that Red has developed is overwhelming," added Narayan.
Red most recently became a patron of the ASPCA®. In support of Red Lion Hotel's recently announced partnership with the ASPCA, a special edition of Red is being sold online and at all Red Lion hotels for $5, with proceeds benefitting the ASPCA.
Red and the ASPCA partnership are just part of a much broader "pet friendly" philosophy maintained by Red Lion Hotels. Earlier in the year Red Lion announced the most liberal pet policy in the hotel industry by allowing pets to stay free at all Red Lion system hotels. In addition, pets are welcome to become member of the Red Lion R&R Club where, like their owners, they can earn and redeem points for hotel stays, services, and merchandise. To date, over 5,000 pets have become members of the Red Lion R&R Club.
Red Lion Hotels Corporation is a hospitality and leisure company primarily engaged in the ownership, operation and franchising of upscale and midscale hotels under its Red Lion® brand. As of March 31, 2009, the RLH hotel network was comprised of 46 hotels located in nine states and one Canadian province, with 8,805 rooms and 436,355 square feet of meeting space. The company also owns and operates an entertainment and event ticket distribution business.