Everyone in the hospitality industry is aware of the growing popularity of extended stay brands, so it might come as a surprise that the CEO of My Place Hotels, an extended stay economy brand, had some strong words to say about the future of economy accommodation. But that could also be because of the surprising strategy that My Place Hotels is taking to try and break the mould. We find out more.
Economy lodgings in decline
Economy lodgings are not what they used to be, according to My Place Hotels’ CEO , and he should know. Rivett’s grandfather was behind the famous Super 8 brand of low-cost lodgings, and himself is also at the helm of an affordable hotel brand with My Place. But perhaps this position gives him a certain amount of insider knowledge when it comes to predicting the future of economy accommodation. He says, “As I look at the economy accommodation segments from the late 1970s, the 80s, and the mid-90s, I think the economy segment, in general, is really at the end of its lifecycle. Certainly, it’s been pushed down quite a ways from where it was. Most properties — not all — but most, are aged and not as well maintained and not as economically viable for guests as they once were.”
Reinventing the economy midscale brand
Rivett clearly thinks there is room for improvement when it comes to economy and midscale offerings. One of the ways that he plans on reinventing this sector is by incorporating an extended stay element into the already existing model. Taking what he knows from Super 8 and using it as a reference point, he has grown the My Place Hotels’ portfolio to 40 economic/midscale extended stay hotels in the six short years it has been in existence. 40 more are in the pipeline, and the increasing popularity of this type of accommodation means that there is no sign of this growth slowing down.
Bucking the trend
Rivett is strongly opposed to following trends in an effort to get guests into his hotels. He thinks focusing on current fads like lifestyle hotels is a bad idea in terms of longevity, and instead is trying to deliver a good, solid service to customers so that he can grab a swathe of the market share. “At the end of the day, the largest hotel segments have always been those that are not necessarily boutique or lifestyle oriented in nature. They’ve always been the hotel segments and the products that are capable of meeting the demands of the greatest volume of people traveling,” he says.
My Place Hotels is also firmly geared towards improving its guest rooms as opposed to investing more into the common areas, as is the way with lots of lifestyle and experiential hotels these days. He expands on this strategy, saying, ““I’ve heard that the average in the limited service and extended stay segments is somewhere around 60 to 65 percent of the building being rentable space. Ours is 79 percent as is, calculated off of our prototype. So, we have a lot more efficiently laid out space by eliminating some costly areas, by focusing on the feel, comfort, and the accommodation within the room more so than creating large spaces in common areas.”
Let’s take a look at another extended stay project currently underway:
More information on extended stay hotel projects can be found in the TOPHOTELPROJECTS database. TOPHOTELPROJECTS is the specialized service provider of cutting-edge information of the hospitality industry.