Best Western Inks Deals for Five New 'Vib' Hotels

Best Western International has signed deals to open five new "Vib" hotels, bringing its total Vib development pipeline to eight, it announced this week.

Announced last fall, Vib -- short for "vibrant" -- is a new mid-scale hotel brand focused on "urban boutique" properties. Like competitor Starwood's Aloft brand, contemporary design, social spaces, and high-tech amenities figure prominently. The brand's key features, for instance, include: large, interactive lobbies with media walls; guest rooms that have smart TVs for streaming on-demand content, as well as ample USB and power ports for electronics; LED mood lighting; 24/7 fitness centers; lobby mezzanines featuring "Zen Zones" for relaxation; gaming pods; check-in kiosks; and bars with fireplaces around which guests can socialize.

"Since the launch of Vib we have had tremendous interest from hotel developers and are especially pleased with the response from developers who have not previously developed Best Western hotels," said Ron Pohl, Best Western's senior vice president brand management. "Vib is really gaining traction because it is the only boutique concept designed for the upper midscale hotel segment and fills a niche that developers and customers want."

Out of the gate, Best Western signed agreements to develop Vib hotels in Chicago, Miami, and Seoul, South Korea. The five additional agreements announced this week are for hotels in Los Angeles; Staten Island, NY; Little Rock, AR; Springfield, MO; and -- once again, making it the city's second Vib -- Miami.

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