More news from hotel giants InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) this week (my, haven’t they been busy?) as they announce the signing of the first EVEN Hotels property which will be located in New York City. The IHG managed hotel will be located at 219 E 44th Street in the heart of midtown Manhattan, and will be a flagship property for the new brand. A new build hotel, scheduled for opening in late 2014, will feature 230 bedrooms across 23 floors, dedicated meeting areas, and indoor and outdoor exercise and eating spaces all spread over 87,000 square feet.
“This is another important first for IHG. By developing our portfolio of preferred brands in line with emerging consumer preferences, we are meeting the needs of a new type of guest who’s looking for hotels with an intrinsic focus on wellness in terms of food, work, exercise and rest,” said Richard Solomons, chief executive officer, IHG. “New York City is an ideal location, being one of the most health-minded cities in the U.S. – so it will provide the EVEN Hotels brand with the right exposure to its target guest, the healthier-minded traveller.”
The EVEN Hotels brand comprises four priority areas: eat, work, exercise and rest – sound familiar New York? You can see why New York was picked as a great first city for this concept. IHG clearly have this in mind and have pointed out that New York City was ranked one of the top 50 healthiest cities in the U.S. in 2012, with more than 1,700 parks, playgrounds, and recreation facilities across the five boroughs providing multiple opportunities for exercise. New York City has also led the charge on changes aimed at a healthier city experience including: banning the sale of sugary drinks over 16 oz., posting all calorie counts on menus and menu boards and banning the use of artificial trans-fats in foods.
“New York City is a key part of EVEN Hotels’ distribution strategy and provides strong market exposure to healthier minded people both living and travelling to New York City, looking for a holistic wellness hotel experience,” said Kirk Kinsell, president, the Americas, IHG. “We are excited about the start of this new owner relationship with CWC Inc. as it brings together IHG’s branding and management expertise with CWC Inc.’s strong presence in the New York City real estate market.”
IHG are claiming “another industry first for this kind of hotel and say they are meeting a large and growing customer demand for a healthier travel experience. EVEN Hotels uniquely provides solutions for all aspects of travellers wellness needs in the areas of food, work, exercise and rest – all under one roof. 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.
IHG expects to sign 100 EVEN Hotels in the U.S. in the next 5 years under managed and franchised agreements in key markets including New York, Washington D.C. and San Francisco.