IHG announces opening of new Holiday Inn(R) hotel in Memphis with historic tribute to Kemmons Wilson
"Next-Generation" Holiday Inn opens in brand's birthplace, owned by family of Kemmons Wilson, founder of Holiday Inn
August 04, 2009 // Franchising.com // ATLANTA - IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) [LON:IHG, NYSE:IHG (ADRs)], the world's largest hotel group by number of rooms, today announced that the 133-room Holiday Inn Hotel and Suites Memphis-Wolfchase Galleria has opened, bringing the seventh Holiday Inn to the city where the brand began in 1952. A grand opening ceremony and ribbon cutting took place on Saturday, Aug 1, 57 years to the day after the first Holiday Inn opened.
"We're proud to come full circle in Memphis, bringing the new Holiday Inn sign back to the place where it all began," said Kevin Kowalski, senior vice president, Global Brand Management, Holiday Inn Brands. "This hotel is a great example of the changes we are making as we relaunch the Holiday Inn brand around the world. It's very fitting that the family of Kemmons Wilson, the man who founded Holiday Inn, has reinforced their commitment to the future of our brand and the importance of the global relaunch."
The property is based on the Holiday Inn brand's "Next-Generation" prototype design, while the new sign is the seal of approval that this hotel exemplifies the standards of the $1 billion Holiday Inn brand relaunch program.
The Holiday Inn brand relaunch is the largest in the history of the hospitality industry, with more than 3,200 hotels around the world being updated - improving quality and driving consistency at Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express hotels around the world. The global estate is expected to be relaunched by the end of 2010, and more than 1,000 hotels have been already been relaunched to date.
The relaunch focuses on the things research shows matter most to guests - a modern, contemporary hotel with efficient, friendly service and a great night's sleep. Relaunched hotels such as the Holiday Inn Memphis-Wolfchase feature:
- Upgraded and decluttered lobby areas
- A Holiday Inn signature scent and sound
- New crisp, white bedding with pillows that come in two comfort levels: "soft" and "firm"
- Upgraded showers with specially designed showerheads that offer superior pressure, signature shower curtain with curved rod and new bathroom amenities
- New exterior lighting and landscaping
- New signage with the redesigned logo
- All Holiday Inn employees also go through an extensive "Stay Real" training program to ensure guests receive the level of service they expect
"The Holiday Inn brand relaunch has given us renewed excitement about the brand, which is meaningful because Holiday Inn is a major part of our family's history," said Kemmons Wilson, Jr., executive vice president, Kemmons Wilson Company. "I remember when I was just six years old and we cut the ribbon on the very first Holiday Inn. I'm looking forward to the opportunity to continue my father's legacy today and in the future with the new look and feel of the iconic brand he created 57 years ago."
The Holiday Inn Memphis-Wolfchase gives a nod to not only the brand's future but also its history by including museum memorabilia from the first Holiday Inn. The property has an original room set on display including bed, desk, lamp and chair from the very first Holiday Inn, a collection of 80 historical photos are hung throughout the hotel, including photos of the first stock trade of Holiday Inn, the first royalty check, and Kemmons Wilson with notable figures such as Pope John Paul II and Muhammad Ali.
The property's 93,033 sq.-ft. footprint is based on the Holiday Inn brand's "Next-Generation" prototype design, developed to be more efficient to build, operate and maintain. It features a contemporary, innovative design that sets new standards for business travelers and families alike. The hotel design debuts a bold change in room décor for Holiday Inn and creates a residential atmosphere that is warm, trend-forward and comfortable. The hotel showcases a natural, fresh color palette punctuated by pops of energetic colors.
In addition, to standard Holiday Inn guestroom accommodations - the residential design includes business-focused necessities like an ergonomic work station, data ports, complimentary high speed Internet access in guest rooms, WiFi capabilities and AT&T VoIP phone systems, which will allow guests to conduct conference calls for up to six participants even while using their computer online.
The full-service hotel also includes a Kem's Restaurant, named after Kemmons Wilson, featuring a wide array of traditional favorites and fresh, grilled menu items. The Holiday Inn Memphis-Wolfchase offers a variety of other amenities such as a 24-hour fitness center, indoor heated pool and whirlpool, and gift shop. With more than 3,000 square feet of function space, the hotel will also be available for business meetings and banquets.
The Holiday Inn Memphis Wolfchase-Galleria is owned and managed by Wilson Hotel Management Co., Inc., a division of Kemmons Wilson, Inc., under a license agreement with a company in the InterContinental Hotels Group, and is located at 2751 New Brunswick Rd., Memphis, Tenn., 38133.
About Holiday Inn Hotels & Resorts
With more than 1,300 hotels worldwide, Holiday Inn Hotels and Resorts is the most widely recognized lodging brand in the world. In fact, Holiday Inn was one of the first international hotel brands to establish a presence in China in 1984. Holiday Inn Hotels and Resorts provides the services that business travelers need, while also offering a comfortable atmosphere where all people can relax and enjoy amenities such as restaurants and room service, swimming pools, fitness centers and comfortable lounges. The casual atmosphere and amenities such as meeting and on-site business facilities, KidSuites rooms, and Kids Eat and Stay Free programs, demonstrate the long-standing commitment of Holiday Inn Hotels and Resorts to serving travelers and have helped to establish the brand as "America's Favorite Hotel."
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) [LON:IHG, NYSE:IHG (ADRs)] is the world's largest hotel group by number of rooms. IHG owns, manages, leases or franchises, through various subsidiaries, over 4,200 hotels and more than 620,000 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, Hotel Indigo®, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn® Hotels and Resorts, Holiday Inn Club VacationsTM, Holiday Inn Express®, Staybridge Suites® and Candlewood Suites®, and also manages the world's largest hotel loyalty program, Priority Club® Rewards with 43 million members worldwide.
IHG has nearly 1,700 hotels in its development pipeline, which will create around 140,000 jobs worldwide over the next few years.
InterContinental Hotels Group PLC is the Group's holding company and is incorporated in Great Britain and registered in England and Wales.