HB Exclusive: Wyndham offers ECHO update

After first introducing an extended-stay concept—then known as Project ECHO—in March 2022, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts has shared exclusively with Hotel Business the progress it has seen with its ECHO Suites Extended Stay by Wyndham brand, with several hotels under construction and the first openings expected in the coming months.

“We’re really excited because, for so long, it’s just been us talking about the pipeline for the brand and one signing after another and how quickly it’s growing, which we’re really pleased with,” said Krishna Paliwal, head of architecture, design and construction, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts. “But, now, we’re here where literally the brand is coming out of the ground.”

At the end of the third quarter, the company reported that the brand had 265 hotels in the pipeline, with 11 under construction. “We have hotels all the way from scratching the dirt to hotels in the MEP [mechanical, electrical and plumbing] and sheetrock stages, where they are shaping up to get ready to open.”

Five of those properties currently in the construction phase in Texas are owned by Dallas-based Gulf Coast Hotel Management, which, along with Sandpiper Hospitality, was one of the first developers for ECHO.

“It’s been a great journey,” said Ian McClure, CEO, Gulf Coast Hotel Management. “It’s one of those things that we look back a couple of years, and it was all talk and we saw renderings. Now, you go to sites and you see the framing that’s going up, the facades and the elevations look exactly like [the renderings]. It’s fascinating to see how that goes from design and architecture and then actual shovels in the ground and framing going up. So, it’s one of those issues that in today’s environment, anything coming out of the ground is exciting. And it’s even more exciting to start seeing how you designed it two years ago.”

Gulf Coast was the first developer to break ground on an ECHO hotel in September 2022 with the ECHO Suites Dallas Plano North, which is scheduled to open in the next few months. The company’s ECHO Suites Dallas Plano Gateway is also under construction. “We have three under construction in the DFW area, two in Houston and one about to go in Austin,” McClure said. “We have several assets already here in Texas, but we’re also developing in Central Florida and Denver. From our perspective, we wanted to develop in markets that we already had existing assets.”

Paliwal also believes that these markets are perfect for the brand. “There is a lot of demand indexes on this time type of product—new construction economy extended-stay. These are markets which are growing like crazy, and there is a lot of development.”

For more on the ECHO brand and its development, make sure to check out the January issue of Hotel Business.