28 February 2012

IHG launches EVEN Hotels as first mainstream hotel brand focused on wellness


New Brand Fills Unmet Demand for Healthier Travel

ATLANTA(February 28, 2012)– IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) [LON: IHG; NYSE: IHG (ADRs)] today announces the launch in the U.S. of EVEN™ Hotels, its new hotel brand. This brand meets the large and growing customer demand for healthier travel, at a mainstream price. EVEN Hotels is another industry first for IHG, as it uniquely provides solutions for all aspects of travelers’ wellness needs in the areas of exercise, food, work and rest. No other brand can do this, under one roof, at this price point. Joining IHG’s existing seven hotel brands, EVEN Hotels will be a key pillar in IHG’s portfolio of preferred brands and in the long term, a key driver in market share growth in the U.S.

“We have a track record of delivering on hotel industry firsts, and we’re doing it again by staking our claim on the wellness space within the mainstream lifestyle category,” said Richard Solomons, chief executive officer, IHG. “We are so confident in the EVEN brand that we are committing a capital investment of up to $150 million over the next 3 years in order to deliver growth and profitability for EVEN Hotels.”

Over a span of 18 months, IHG closely analyzed emerging trends, conducted robust quantitative and qualitative studies, and talked to over 4,000 customers. The research showed a demand shift to a holistic wellness travel experience, and confirmed an unmet need among customers – staying healthy while they travel. The EVEN brand concept is deeply rooted in what these guests need, and provides a solution for healthier-minded travelers.

“The wellness sector continues to grow year over year and the launch of EVEN Hotels will allow IHG to take advantage of this long term trend,” said Kirk Kinsell, president, the Americas, IHG. “The U.S. represents two-thirds of IHG’s rooms today, and this exciting new brand will help us to continue to grow our share in this important market. We expect to sign contracts for 100 EVEN Hotels within the next five years.”

Americans either want to be healthier or have to be healthier, and leading a healthy, balanced lifestyle is increasingly becoming more important to them. The brand specifically responds to extensive customer research that tells us that guests are frustrated from staying in hotels that do not meet their entire lifestyle and wellness needs. There are 17 million healthier-minded travelers who find it hard to stay active and eat right, and often “fall off the wagon” when they travel. The EVEN brand solves this inherent problem and enables “travel life balance” for these travelers.EVEN Hotels will ensure guests have the services and experiences they need to gain more control and feel good about their travel experience. 

While wellness means different things to different people, guests want healthier options around 4 priority areas – exercise, eat, work and rest. EVEN Hotels reflects this by offering guests a customized approach to holistic wellness, and enables them to make better lifestyle decisions when they travel. Unique features of EVEN Hotels will include:

  • Exercise– Guest rooms designed for in-room workouts with multi-functional room amenities (e.g. coat rack that doubles as a pull up bar); best in class gym with equipment and group exercise activities; “Wellness Wall” for fitness options in walking distance, tips and equipment rental; personalized guest service to offer advice on fitness options, ideas and/or instruction; all baked into the service experience, at no added cost to the guest.
  • Eat– Nutritionally designed menus with a particular focus on natural, fresh, fit and energizing meals – available anytime; an open air café and bar; free flavored filtered water with glass bottles available to fill up and take back to the room; free coffee & mini-smoothies in the morning.
  • Work– Rooms with high speed Wi-Fi, multimedia ports, easy access to outlets, ample desk space; and social spaces in the bar and lobby.
  • Rest- Rooms offer revitalization and relaxation, including hypoallergenic linens, powerful showerheads, natural lighting, LED dimmers and antibacterial wipes.

EVEN Hotels will allow IHG’s owners to diversify their brand offerings, all while giving guests more options to choose from within the IHG brand portfolio. The operating model for EVEN Hotels will be similar to limited service hotels, and growth will be driven by new builds and conversions, with conversions providing the most immediate development opportunities. IHG intends to own and manage the first several EVEN Hotels in key markets where the brand’s guests travel and live, then look to strong existing owner relationships to accelerate growth through IHG’s franchise model. IHG plans to announce the first EVEN location in Q2 2012 and expects the first hotel to open in the first part of 2013.

To learn more about EVEN Hotels, please visit our brand website at http://evenhotels.com

Media contacts:

Natasha Gullett, IHG
+1 770 604 5597

Sarah-Ann Soffer, IHG
+1 770 604 2707

Notes to Editors:

IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) [LON:IHG, NYSE:IHG (ADRs)] is a global organisation operating seven hotel brands including InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo®, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn® Hotels and Resorts, Holiday Inn Express®, Staybridge Suites® and Candlewood Suites®. IHG also manages Priority Club® Rewards, the world’s first and largest hotel loyalty programme with over 63 million members worldwide.

IHG franchises, leases, manages or owns over 4,400 hotels and more than 658,000 guest rooms in nearly 100 countries and territories, and has more than 1,100 hotels in its development pipeline.

IHG expects to recruit around 90,000 new people worldwide across its estate over the next few years and is committed to gender balance throughout its business. We aspire to continue retaining a minimum of 25% female representation on the Board.

InterContinental Hotels Group PLC is the Group’s holding company and is incorporated in Great Britain and registered in England and Wales.

Visit www.ihg.com for hotel information and reservations and www.priorityclub.com for more on Priority Club Rewards. For our latest news, visit www.ihg.com/media, www.twitter.com/ihgplc or www.youtube.com/ihgplc.


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