Next Generation Holiday Inn Slated for Atlanta

Six Continents Hotels, Inc., the owner of the Holiday Inn brand, announced today it has signed the lease agreement on the first of its next-generation Holiday Inn prototype hotels. This newest prototype will be located near Atlanta in Gwinnett County, on Sugarloaf Parkway near the Gwinnett Civic Center.

The new hotel will be owned and operated by Six Continents Hotels, Inc. Diplomat Hotels will oversee the construction, which will begin in October 2002. The hotel is expected to open Fall 2003. This is the first of 25 corporate-owned Holiday Inn hotels that Six Continents Hotels has committed to build over the next five years.

“We are very pleased with this investment and system growth opportunity,” said Stevan Porter, president of the Americas, Six Continents Hotels. “This new hotel marks the beginning of a new era in both hotel design and service quality for the rejuvenated Holiday Inn brand. Developments such as this one help us continue to strengthen the Holiday Inn portfolio,” said Porter.

The decision to develop a “balanced full-service” Holiday Inn concept was driven by the demands of the marketplace, both from the developers` and the guests` perspective.

Á¤There are many full-service development opportunities that were being missed because we didn`t have a smaller more cost-efficient alternative to the traditional larger meetings driven Holiday Inn hotels,” said John Merkin, director of hotel innovations, Holiday Inn Hotels. Á¤While there will always be a role in the Holiday Inn portfolio for the larger meetings hotels, this brand`s full-service prototype will let us compete for these smaller sites,” said Merkin.

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With this environment in mind it was essential that the prototype be based on an attractive, competitive business model in order to appeal to the person wanting to build, own and run a 100- to 150-room Holiday Inn hotel with the potential for great returns. These requirements meant developing a hotel with a compact, efficient design and the maximum space possible dedicated to revenue-generating activities; in fact, seventy percent of the hotel is dedicated to revenue generation. Additionally, the prototype`s staffing costs are lower because the efficient layout allows less staff to service more areas of the hotel with same commitment to quality service for guests.

The prototype is specifically designed for smaller sites, with a smaller-than-usual footprint to fit on 2.5-acre lot sizes. Other prototype variations are available or under development, to accommodate different site constraints and market situations, including one for even smaller sites and one that incorporates Á¤best practicesÁ¬ learning for a larger meetings hotel.

Á¤WeÁ?ve done extensive research over the past several years to get inside the minds of hotel owners and guests to create a hotel that meets their needs and exceeds their expectations,Á¬ said Merkin. “Their knowledge and input was leveraged to make this prototype the most appealing, efficient and guest-friendly Holiday Inn hotel yet,” he added.

The new hotel will feature guestrooms that allow the guest to sleep well, work efficiently and relax. The guest bathrooms will be a mix of walk-in showers for business travelers and tub-showers for families. Furniture, fixtures and equipment are designed for comfort and function and the room is built for quietness. Á¤HomeyÁ¬ room furnishings will include an interactive 25” television, coffeemaker, hair dryer, iron and ironing board, and clock radio. Guestrooms will also provide modern business traveler-friendly amenities, including an ergonomic chair and ample workstation, task lighting, convenient electrical outlets, dataports (with optional high-speed internet access) and two-line phones.

Other hotel amenities will include an indoor pool and a 1,900 square foot bistro and lounge rather than the more traditional full-service restaurants. The smaller, more efficient restaurant is designed to minimize labor costs and maximize food & beverage profits. Guests can enjoy a hot “Best 4 Breakfast” offering or order from a limited dinner menu and room service will be available. Lunch service will be optional and the restaurant and bar areas will be combined. This balanced full-service Holiday Inn prototype comes on the heels of the full service Holiday Inn prototype design, which was introduced in 2000, and is now reflected in 18 US properties. The new Holiday Inn prototype hotel will cater to value-oriented business and leisure travelers and will offer competitive rates.

With 1,600 hotels worldwide, Holiday Inn Hotels and Resorts is the most widely recognized lodging brand in the world. The brand offers todayÁ?s travelers dependability, friendly service and modern, attractive facilities at an excellent value. Holiday Inn Hotels and Resorts provides the services that business travelers need, while also offering a comfortable atmosphere where people can relax and enjoy amenities such as room service, swimming pools and comfortable lounges. The casual atmosphere and amenities such as meeting and on-site business facilities, KidSuites?´ rooms, Kids Eat and Stay Free programs, and the brandÁ?s attention to quality control and customer service, have contributed to its position as America`s Favorite hotel.

American entrepreneur Kemmons Wilson opened the first Holiday Inn hotel on August 1, 1952 in Memphis, Tennessee, after he returned from a family road trip discouraged over the lack of family and value-oriented lodging. Over the past fifty years, Holiday Inn Hotels & Resorts, has retained those core ideals of family, value and entrepreneurial spirit and grown to become the most recognized lodging brand in the world. As AmericaÁ?s Hotel, the brand drives industry standards that travelers expect from all hotel chains and has introduced services and amenities to the industry that include: computerized reservations systems and online reservations; a guest frequency program; a centralized travel agency commission program; in-room telephones, televisions and air conditioning; free ice; free parking; swimming pools, on-site restaurants and conference rooms at every hotel; and free accommodations and meals for children. Today, Holiday Inn continues its heritage of innovation by introducing new prototype hotel designs to meet the changing needs of its guests. For more information on 50th Anniversary of Holiday Inn, go to www.holiday-inn.com.

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