Best Western resurrects plans for extended-stay properties

George Sell George Sell Uploaded 24 October 2013

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US: Best Western International has revised its plan to enter the extended-stay hotel market, revealing a new concept for the sector.

The company previously planned to launch a range of properties which combined extended-stay and traditional hotel rooms, but this has been shelved in favour of a new 100 per cent extended stay concept.

At the company's North American convention it revealed a prototype for the new product that also features expanded common areas and a focus on exterior landscaping.

Ron Pohl, senior VP of brand management and member services, said of the abandoned mixed concept: "It was a clever idea, but it was impossible to build. We wanted to provide a turnkey solution for developers, which is what the new prototype does. Also, we believe a product with a mix of extended-stay and regular rooms could cause confusion among travellers."

The new concept has yet to be named or described in detail. It will be positioned in the upper-midscale segment of the market.

David Kong, Best Western president and CEO, said: "Travellers like the extended-stay hotels, and developers like to build the product. We wanted to make the prototype most appealing to consumers and most profitable to developers."

The new design includes "more community elements and an (optional) lobby bar, and 100% of the guest units have kitchenettes", adding that the design resulted in a lower cost of construction to between US$90,000 and $100,000 per key, depending on the market.

The prototype is a 56,000-square-foot building with 86 units, ranging in size from 330-square-foot studios to 565-square-foot suites. All units have hobs, sinks, microwaves and refrigerators.

www.bestwestern.com

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