Even in the midst of the country's economic downturn, and the travel industry's related slowdown, Embassy Suites Hotels continues to grow, the Memphis-based chain announced last week. Currently 192 hotels strong, the company has plans to open 62 more franchised hotels in the next three years—the largest expansion in Embassy Suites' 24-year history.
"We could not be happier about the state of our growth," Jim Holthouser, Embassy Suites' senior vice president of brand management, said in a statement. "We went from five approvals a year in 2005, to 22 in 2006, up to 30 in 2007, and this year we expect to do more than 30."
Many of Embassy Suites' new hotels will feature a fresh prototype that allows developers to build properties on less land, with more efficient use of space and lower construction costs. All of them, meanwhile, will feature state-of-the-art business centers and fitness centers, as well as upgraded bedding.
"Embassy Suites has always been a category-of-one," Holthouser continued, "and in the last 20 years has proved to be consistent in all phases of the business cycle. We are well on our way to exceeding our goal of 300 hotels open, under construction or in the pipeline by 2010."
Embassy Suites is fueling development with a combination of new builds, conversions, adaptive reuse and mixed-use properties. In the next three years alone it will open hotels internationally in locations such as Venezuela, Costa Rica, Mexico and Panama; domestically in cities like Denver, New Orleans, Memphis, Houston, St. Louis and Miami; and near airports in second- and third-tier markets like Columbus, Ohio; Jacksonville, Fla.; Tucson, Ariz.; and Indianapolis, Ind.