InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has announced the launch of a hotel brand in the USA aimed at the healthy traveller.
As the eighth IHG brand, EVEN Hotels intends to meet a guest's wellness needs for exercise, food, work and rest, at a mid-market price point. It is hoped that around 100 EVEN hotels will open across the USA within five years, with the first one launching in 2013. International expansion, including to the UK, will depend on the brand's performance in the USA.
"We have a track record of delivering on hotel industry firsts, and we're doing it again by staking our claim on the wellness space within the mainstream lifestyle category," said Richard Solomons, chief executive officer, IHG. "We are so confident in the EVEN brand that we are committing a capital investment of up to $150m (£95m) over the next three years in order to deliver growth and profitability for EVEN Hotels."
The EVEN brand has been created following an 18-month period of research. Bedrooms will be designed for in-room workouts with multi-functional room amenities such as a coat rack that doubles as a pull up bar, while advice will be provided in fitness instruction. There will also be high speed Wi-Fi, hypoallergenic linens, powerful shower heads, natural lighting and antibacterial wipes. Meanwhile, menus will focus on natural, fresh and energising dishes.
The operating model for EVEN Hotels will be similar to limited service hotels, and growth will be driven by new builds and conversions, with conversions providing the most immediate development opportunities. IHG intends to own and manage the initial EVEN Hotels, and then later expand the brand through franchise agreements.
EVEN Hotels joins the seven existing IHG brands: InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo, Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn Hotels and Resorts, Holiday Inn Express, Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites. The group operates around 4,400 hotels with more than 658,000 guest rooms across nearly 100 countries. It has a further 1,100 hotels under development.
By Janet Harmer
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