Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express are hoping travelers that haven’t seen the inside of the hotel chain in a while are ready to give them a second look now.
Holiday Inn, with 1,319 hotels worldwide, and Holiday Inn Express, with 1,846 hotels, are finishing up a three-year, $1 billion “refreshing” effort that has included revamping hotels in Charlotte and Okemos as well as rejuvenating properties in and around Lansing.
The massive remodeling, financed largely by individual hotel franchise operators, is believed to be the largest ever undertaken by a hotel chain, involving 427,102 guest rooms worldwide. The project is scheduled to wrap-up by the end of this year.
Guests will notice a more modern look to the guest rooms and commons areas, spokeswoman Emily Brinkley said. Linens in hotel rooms are being upgraded, and guests will have a choice between soft or firm pillows.
“One of the key things people will see is a refreshed approach to the Holiday Inn brand,” Brinkley said. “There will be a more contemporary look and feel.”
The Okemos location transformed from a Comfort Inn to a Holiday Inn Express in March 2007.
The hotel spent more than $1 million in renovations to change the brand as well as relaunch costs, owner William Brehm said. The hotel chain signed off on Brehm’s relaunch last fall.
The Holiday Inn Express in Charlotte started its renovations last fall and plans to finish sprucing up the exterior this spring, said Marcy Babcock, general manager. She would not say how much was spent on the project.
The Holiday Inn Express in East Lansing opened in June 2009. It came with the new features.
But even with the massive investment, the hotel chain is keeping an eye on travel budgets.
As companies nationwide slash their travel budgets, Holiday Inn is pushing hard to capture a larger share of the corporate market from more upscale rivals such as the Hiltons, the Sheratons, and the Marriotts.
“Nobody ever gets fired for staying at Holiday Inn,” said Kevin Kowalski, senior vice president of global brand management for the chain. “There is no preconceived notion of extravagance attached to our brand.”