Hotel Brand's Development Pipeline Robust with 200 Projects; 2010 Growth Concentrated on International and Domestic New Construction
MEMPHIS, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Officials of Hilton Garden Inn, the global brand of upscale, yet affordable hotels, today announced it remains on pace to reach near-record development numbers in 2009 with 60 new hotels expected to open and 200 hotel projects in the pipeline. This pace is slightly off 2008's record-breaking openings, but is still one of the brand's fullest pipelines of hotel projects approved, in design or under construction.
"The past 18 months have been the most challenging for hotel development in the brand's 13-year history," said Adrian Kurre, Global Head, Hilton Garden Inn. "Financing has been difficult, but our franchisees have found that strong brands with high consumer acceptance and a proven track record in all phases of the economic cycle still attract lender interest. The industry has not overdeveloped in this past cycle, compared to the past several decades, and even though demand has diminished temporarily, there is still a need for fresh new hotels in growing markets."
To date, Hilton Garden Inn has opened nearly 50 hotels in 2009, with locations throughout the U.S. and Canada, as well as in Saudi Arabia and Italy. The brand's main focus has been on new build construction, but also has included creative adaptive reuse projects.
"Our current and future growth is based on a multi-pronged strategy that includes a mix of U.S., Canadian and global development," he noted. "While the majority of our hotels are new builds, we also have worked closely with our franchise partners to creatively adapt existing buildings into unique Hilton Garden Inn destinations."
While Hilton Garden Inn's domestic growth remains the majority of the development pipeline, the brand expects to have 34 hotels outside the United States open by year's end.
"We definitely see growth potential abroad, and with the Hilton name being perhaps the most recognizable hotel name in the world, we see guests have a certain familiarity with us when they walk into our hotel," Kurre added. "With hotels in more than ten countries globally, our growth strategy remains viable as we look to open 8-10 hotels internationally next year."
Hotels set to open in late 2009 and 2010 include:
Canada continues to be a hotbed of growth for Hilton Garden Inn. This year saw the opening of four new hotels in the greater Toronto area -- the 224-room Hilton Garden Inn Toronto Downtown; the 224-room Hilton Garden Inn Toronto Airport; the 147-room Hilton Garden Inn Toronto/City Centre; and the 152-room Hilton Garden Inn Toronto Airport West/Mississauga. Three of the four hotels were opened by Toronto-based Easton's Group.
"Our Canadian development partners are among our strongest, and Steve Gupta (of the Easton's Group) has had a busy 2009," Kurre added. "Mr. Gupta's brand loyalty has helped us gain traction with guests in Canada, even during these trying economic times. There is a strong U.S. customer base that travels to Canada, and our hotels are seeing in-bound travelers choosing Hilton Garden Inn based on their experience with us in the U.S. We believe this will further solidify the brand's leadership position and help us continue to gain market share in Canada."
While ground-up development will continue to be the brand's foremost development vehicle, adaptive reuses have proven to be successful for Hilton Garden Inn.
"Some strong markets simply don't have any available land," Kurre stated. "Our developers have aggressively sought opportunities to repurpose existing buildings into top-quality Hilton Garden Inn hotels."
He cited the 250-room Hilton Garden Inn Richmond Downtown in Virginia, formerly the Miller & Rhoads Department Store, as a typical example. The hotel features the store's original marble floors and restored millwork in the Pavilion lobby. The building is owned by New Orleans-based HRI Lodging, Inc., and the renovation also included condominiums, restaurants and retail space. Similarly, the former King Edward Hotel in downtown Jackson, Mississippi, is currently being refurbished and is set to open in December. The Kind Edward is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and sat vacant for 40 years. Renovation began in 2007 and more than $90 million has been invested in its rebirth. The hotel also is owned by HRI Lodging, Inc.
"Our development team continually looks for adaptive reuse projects in strategic markets with a high barrier to entry," Kurre said. "If we're able to add all of the HGI attributes in an adaptive reuse project that will enable us to create the award-winning experience our guests have come to rely on, then we certainly see adaptive reuse as a viable option."
Hilton Garden Inn is expected to open approximately 20-30 hotels in 2010. The brand plans to open properties in such key markets as Seattle, Philadelphia, Denver, Houston, Milwaukee and Pittsburgh. "Even though new construction remains down industry-wide, hotel owners and operators, as well as guests, continue to remain loyal to Hilton Garden Inn," Kurre concluded. "We intend to repay their fidelity by continually providing the finest in upscale services and amenities.
Hilton Garden Inn is the award-winning, upscale, yet affordable hotel brand that continually strives to ensure today's busy travelers have everything they need to be most productive on the road -- from complimentary wired and Wi-Fi Internet access in all guestrooms and PrintSpotsTM remote printing to the hotel's complimentary 24-hour business center to one of the most comfortable beds you will ever experience with the Garden Sleep System®. So whether on the road for personal or business reasons, Hilton Garden Inn offers the amenities and services for travelers to sleep deep, stay fit, eat well and work smart while away from home.
Hilton Hotels Corporation, is the leading global hospitality company based in McLean, VA, with more than 3,300 hotels and 550,000 rooms in 77 countries and more than 130,000 team members worldwide. The company owns, manages or franchises some of the best known and highly regarded hotel brands including Hilton, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Doubletree, Embassy Suites Hotels, Hampton Inn, Hampton Inn & Suites, Hilton Garden Inn, Hilton Grand Vacations, Homewood Suites by Hilton, the Waldorf Astoria and the Waldorf Astoria Collection, as well as the recently launched Home2 Suites by Hilton. The company also manages the world-class guest reward program Hilton HHonors®.