June 03, 2011 // Franchising.com // MIAMI - Furthering its reach as Central America's leading international hotel company, IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) [LON: IHG, NYSE: IHG (ADRs)], announced that it has signed a franchise agreement for a new-build Holiday Inn Express hotel in Panama City, Panama. The property will be owned and managed by Latin American Hospitality Management Inc., San Salvador-based Grupo AGRISAL's Hotel Division, under a license agreement with a company in the InterContinental Hotels Group.
The 198-guest room, 12-story Holiday Inn Express Panama City, scheduled to open in July 2012, is the fourth of seven IHG-flagged properties either open or under construction through a long-term strategic agreement between IHG and Grupo AGRISAL's Hotel Division. The three properties currently opened under this agreement include the Holiday Inn San Jose Escazu in Costa Rica and two properties in El Salvador, the Holiday Inn San Salvador and the Crowne Plaza San Salvador.
When open, the Holiday Inn Express Panama City will be IHG's 24th hotel in Central America, inclusive of the InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo®, Holiday Inn® Hotels and Resorts and Holiday Inn Express® brands.
"We are extremely pleased to bring the Holiday Inn Express brand to Panama City, as well as further our relationship with Grupo AGRISAL," says Jim Anhut, Chief Development Officer, IHG, Americas. "We have a great deal of history in Panama, with four existing hotels as well as one Staybridge Suites currently under construction. The signing of the new Holiday Inn Express will continue to further IHG's brand representation in this very important capital city."
The property will be located in the heart of one of Panama's most recognized business and financial districts, known as 'Calle 50.' The area is home to a number of international banks and multinational enterprises whose Latin America headquarters are in Panama City. Once built, it will be within walking distance to Calle Uruguay, one of Panama's trendiest zones for restaurants and entertainment. The hotel's location will also be within easy access to the city's Tocumen International Airport.
"Partnering with IHG on our three existing properties has been a great experience, and we are thrilled to sign this agreement for our fourth property," said Eduardo Quiñonez from Grupo AGRISAL. "We are excited to enter the Panama market with such a well-known brand as the Holiday Inn Express. The strong brand name combined with the great location will ensure the success of this property."
The new-build property will showcase all of the elements of Holiday Inn's recently completed $1 billion global relaunch, the biggest ever project of its kind in the history of the hospitality industry. First announced in 2007, the relaunch program creates a more contemporary brand image as part of the drive to increase quality and consistency across the global portfolio. The program focuses on arrival and welcome services, guestroom and guest bath comfort and a redesigned logo and signage. Once opened, amenities at the new Holiday Inn Express Panama City will include a business center, swimming pool, gymnasium, two parking levels and guest laundry facilities.
"We are delighted to partner up once again with Grupo AGRISAL and continue strengthening our relationship with them," says Alvaro Diago, Chief Operating Officer, IHG Latin America and the Caribbean. "We believe that Holiday Inn Express and its strong value proposition will be well received in Panama, as the new property will be an excellent representation of what Holiday Inn offers its guests in terms of both accommodations and amenities."
The hotel will feature the complimentary Express Start® breakfast bar with a full range of breakfast items, including a rotation of egg and meat selections, biscuits, yogurt, fruit and the brand's proprietary cinnamon roll and Smart Roast® coffee. The SimplySmartTM shower will incorporate a proprietary Stay SmartTM Kohler showerhead, signature shower curtain with curved rod, upgraded 100 percent cotton terry towels and a custom line of cinnamon-scented bath products. Guests will enjoy the SimplySmartTM bedding collection where they will find new crisp fresh bedding which features an attractive decorative throw, a medium-weight duvet blanket and soft 200 thread-count sheets.
IHG has almost 200 hotels in Mexico, Central and South America and the Caribbean, and has been serving Latin America for 65 years. IHG has hotels situated in nearly every key market throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.
Holiday Inn Hotels and Resorts participates in IHG's guest loyalty program, Priority Club® Rewards. The industry's first and largest guest loyalty program has 58 million members. Priority Club Rewards membership is free and guests can enroll by logging on at priorityclub.com, by calling 1-888-211-9874 or by inquiring at the front desk of this hotel or any of IHG's more than 4,400 hotels worldwide.
Holiday Inn Express hotels are modern hotels for value-oriented travelers. Fresh, clean and uncomplicated, Holiday Inn Express hotels offer competitive rates for both business and leisure travelers. Guests Stay Smart® at Holiday Inn Express hotels where they enjoy a free, hot Express Start® Breakfast Bar, free high-speed Internet access and free local phone calls (US and Canada only). There are currently more than 2,000 Holiday Inn Express hotel locations around the globe. For more information about Holiday Inn Express hotels or to book reservations, call 1-800-HOLIDAY or visit http://www.hiexpress.com/.
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) [LON:IHG, NYSE:IHG (ADRs)] is a global company operating seven well-known hotel brands including InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo®, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn® Hotels and Resorts, Holiday Inn Express®, Staybridge Suites® and Candlewood Suites®. IHG also manages Priority Club® Rewards, the world's first and largest hotel loyalty program with 58 million members worldwide.
IHG is the world's largest hotel group by number of rooms and IHG franchises, leases, manages or owns, through various subsidiaries, a portfolio of over 4,400 hotels and more than 652,000 guest rooms in 100 countries and territories around the world.
IHG has more than 1,200 hotels in its development pipeline and expects to recruit around 160,000 people 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.