Wyndham’s milestone for the extended stay brand; Olympia Hotel Management adds in Kentucky – HOTELSMag.com


Wyndham Milestone for New Extended Stay Brand: Wyndham Hotels & Resorts’ new extended-stay brand, tentatively titled “Project ECHO,” quickly achieved 100 hotel signings across the United States to become the company’s fastest-growing concept. Among the most recent franchisees to sign deals are Holladay Properties, based in South Bend, Indiana, and Gold Coast Premier Properties, based in Miami, Florida. Holladay signed 26 Project ECHO hotels in key Midwest cities; Nashville, TN; Savannah, Georgia; and Jacksonville, Florida. Gold Coast Premier has signed 10 properties in South Florida and New Jersey. The purpose-built 124-key Project ECHO prototype requires less than two acres of land and comes in at 50,000 square feet, nearly 74% of which is lettable. Single rooms average 300 square feet and include single and double studio suites with kitchenettes.

Wyndham’s new brand, Project ECHO, quickly achieved 100 hotel signings across the United States

Olympia Hotel Management adds in Kentucky: Olympia Hotel Management will operate the Historic Boone Tavern Hotel & Restaurant in Berea, Kentucky. Originally opened in 1909, the 63-room hotel is owned by Berea College and was designed by architect JC Cady in the Colonial Revival style. The hotel includes 8,552 square feet of event space across seven halls, with each hall accommodating up to 150 people. The historic hotel is a member of Historic Hotels of America and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Currently, Olympia manages campus properties, such as The Alfond Inn at Rollins, The Hotel at Oberlin, Kent State University Hotel & Conference Center, and The Inn at Swarthmore.

Oyo to relaunch IPO plans: Oyo Hotels, Gurgaon, India, is reviving plans for a stock market debut after cost cuts and the resumption of travel helped pare losses. The SoftBank-backed company has filed a new set of financial documents and is targeting an IPO in January 2023, provided economic conditions improve and India’s stock market continues to hold its own. Oyo, formerly known as Oravel Stays, filed IPO documents in 2021 but put its plan on hold earlier this year as the pandemic impacted its growth, forcing the company to lay off staff thousands of employees. The Indian startup plans to focus on India, Malaysia, Indonesia and Europe, where it runs vacation homes. It has reduced its operations in former “crucial” markets, such as the United States and China.

Companies pledge to hire refugees: A total of 45 companies pledged to hire more than 20,000 refugees at the US Refugee Business Summit in New York hosted by the Tent Partnership for Refugees, a network of 260 companies committed to supporting the economic integration of refugees. Major companies, including Marriott International, Hilton, IHG Hotels and Resorts, Aimbridge Hospitality, Blackstone, Amazon, PepsiCo, Tyson Foods and Pfizer, have pledged to employ and train thousands of refugees in the United States over the next three years. Hilton has pledged to hire 1,500 refugees, while Marriott and Hyatt will hire 1,500 and 500 refugees, respectively, over three years. Blackstone portfolio companies and real estate properties will hire 2,000 refugees. Companies that recruit are expected to generate $913 million in revenue annually for refugees in the United States.

WaterWalk launches a new flexible concept: WaterWalk, the Wichita, Kansas-based hotel innovator, has announced details of its new concept of “flexible lodging,” lodging that allows guests to stay (and live) with more freedom. Highlights of the new hybrid home approach include a sense of community and home-from-home feel (24/7 concierge service, revitalized lobby and backyard), customizable accommodations (improved layout of its “Live” and “Stay” units, fully equipped kitchens, pantry, walk-in showers in future furnished and unfurnished properties) and efficient development and business model flexible operation (unique building design, modern studio suites and flexible inventory between Live and Stay units). The WaterWalk Difference will offer franchisees a lower operating cost model, averaging 10 FRE per property, leading to competitive operating margins. The new properties will offer 126 suites, with a mix of studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units. Each property will be branded to enable a seamless guest experience across Live and Stay units. Suites have no long-term agreements and offer the convenience of an extended-stay hotel. Currently, WaterWalk operates eight properties in the United States with nine more under development, which will double the size of its portfolio over the next 24 months.

IHG signs the first Kimpton Resort: IHG Hotels & Resorts has announced the first signing of its all-inclusive Kimpton Resort. With resort owner Sunset World and operator Playa Hotels & Resorts, Kimpton Hacienda Tres Ríos Resort, Spa & Nature Park in Mexico will launch the brand in Playa del Carmen in the Riviera Maya in early 2024. Originally opened in 2008, Kimpton Hacienda Tres Ríos Resort, Spa & Nature Park will feature a new resort branding as well as renovated interiors of its 255 rooms. The property will also feature 11 dining concepts, five pools, private beach access, a spa, fitness center, kids’ club, and 26,200 square feet of event space across 12 venues. The resort will join the 72-room Kimpton Aluna Hotel as Kimpton’s second property in Riviera Maya.

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