HB ON THE SCENE: Best Western Intros SureStay Studio

NATIONAL HARBOR, MD—Best Western Hotels & Resorts (BWHR) is expanding the SureStay Hotel Group with the launch of SureStay Studio in the premium-economy extended stay segment. The brand launch was revealed at the 2019 Best Western North American Convention and Global Conference, held here at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center.

“The economy extended stay market just recorded the highest occupancies in history, nearly 80%,” Ron Pohl, SVP/chief operations officer, BWHR said at the conference. “This creates another opportunity for us to build upon the SureStay’s success, and intended for both conversion and new construction hotels. This is a prototype 67-room, 32,000-sq.-ft. building with a construction cost estimated under $60,000 per key, both have a lot of potential, and MMA applies for BW members.”

The brand was developed because of interest from developers and travelers. “We start everything with the customer,” David Kong, president/CEO, BWHR, told Hotel Business. “Our customers in this case are the developers and it is the paying travelers that stay at our hotels. If you look at those two sets of customers, both of them have indicated tremendous interest in an extended stay product in the premium economy segment.”

He continued, “The paying customers, the fact that they are running 80% occupancy is demonstrative that there is a huge demand for it. We asked ourselves, ‘What do developers want to do with this product?’ I think it is an opportunity to appeal to a very broad set of travelers out there that have need for an extended stay product, but they also see an opportunity to be very profitable with that product, because it is a scaled down product, it is not too expensive to build. It is very cost-efficient, because for example, you probably don’t need to service the room every day, especially when you have programs like the Best Western Rewards Clean program where people can earn points without having their room cleaned. That is a huge savings for the operators. If you look at our customers, the developers and paying customers staying at our hotel, you see that there is a demand for it.”

Kong reported that the company already has 10 SureStay Studio hotels in the pipeline, and has garnered interest from owners.

For more on the conference, see the 10/15 issue of Hotel Business.