WISCONSIN NEWBUILD CALLED ‘A BRAND-DEFINING PRODUCT’
New York Crowne Plaza refurb is part of brandwide overhaul
By Jeri Clausing
NEW YORK — Over the past few years,
nearly every major U.S. brand has, with
much fanfare, embarked on major updates and renovations of its properties.
Among the biggest and most ambitious overhauls were those of Starwood’s
Sheraton and Intercontinental Hotel
Group’s Holiday Inn.
Flying a bit under the radar, however,
has been the renovation of Holiday Inn’s
upscale sister brand, Crowne Plaza.
The brand’s flagship property in New
York’s Times Square recently completed
an $85 million overhaul.
And by the end of the year, 50% of the
brand’s nearly 200 hotels in the Americas
will be renovated at a cost of about $250
Gina LaBarre, vice president of brand
management for Crowne Plaza Hotels &
Resorts in the Americas, said the updates
were helping the brand benefit from the
downturn in luxury travel.
“We are seeing a lot of trade down,” she
said. “Here you get an upscale, luxury feel
without the unnecessary amenities.”
with Budget this spring!
Lobby of the Crowne Plaza in New York’s Times Square.
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Since completing its renovation, the
Times Square hotel has achieved double-digit index gains in revenue per available
room every month in 2009, said Nan
Molofsky, senior vice president of City Investment Fund, the ownership group for
The Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza brand
was started in 1983 as an upscale version
of Holiday Inn. In 1994 it dropped Holiday Inn from its name.
Until recently, all but a handful of the
brand’s properties have been conversions.
But over the past year, half of the properties entering the pipeline have been newbuilds, including a newbuild that Crowne
Plaza considers to be its new prototype.
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Since completing its renova-
tion, the Times Square loca-
tion has achieved double-
digit RevPAR index gains.
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Qualifying rentals for double points must be booked no later than June 30, 2009 with a check-in date no later than July 14, 2009.
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That property, in Wauwatosa, Wis.,
opened in March.
It features a two-story lobby, more than
7,000 square feet of meetings and function space, a restaurant and lounge, two
executive floors, a swimming pool, a fitness center, a 24-hour business center, a
sundries shop and laundry and valet service.
LaBarre called the suburban Milwaukee hotel, which is owned by KL Hotel
LLC and managed by Lane Hospitality, a
“While conversions will always play
a role in our development strategy, this
prototype provides a design plan concept
for owners to leverage when building new
hotels in emerging markets or established
urban markets,” she said.