IHG launching new Avid brand, eight hotels in Georgia (Photos) (Video) – Atlanta Business Chronicle

InterContinental Hotels Group is about to roll-out its new midscale hotel brand Avid across Georgia, a flag that aims to perfect the value stay.

IHG (NYSE: IHG), which has its Americas headquarters in Dunwoody, has signed development agreements for eight Avid hotels in the state, from Lithonia to Savannah.

InterContinental Hotels Group is about to roll-out its new midscale hotel brand Avid across Georgia, a flag that aims to perfect the value stay.

With its bold red and aqua tones and contemporary design, IHG hopes Avid will cater to the everyday traveler looking for “the basics done exceptionally well,” Elie Maalouf, CEO of IHG’s Americas region, said during an exclusive interview with Atlanta Business Chronicle on April 9.

“Nobody was filling this need in the midscale segment with a new product, with a high-quality experience, with a trusted operator,” he said. “We developed this brand for the principled everyday traveler who is very focused on a few things they value in an overnight stay.”

Sam Patel, president and CEO of Global Management & Investments, later this year plans to start construction on one of the first Avid locations in Georgia, a 95-room hotel in Lithonia near the Mall at Stonecrest. It could open in early 2019.

Patel is also planning an Avid for Warner Robins, Ga.

“Avid has all the elements to become successful,” said Patel. Global Management owns more than a dozen hotels in Georgia, including a Hampton Inn in Buckhead and two Twelve hotels.

Patel said he was drawn to the Avid brand for its well-designed guest experience and its affordable construction costs.

“We are very bullish on the brand,” he said.

Other Avid hotels are coming to Pooler, Brunswick, Grovetown, Perry, Port Wentworth and Savannah, Ga., according to IHG.

“We think this list will keep growing,” Maalouf said. “In a dynamic, growing state like Georgia, there are many markets where it will make sense.”

Avid is IHG’s 13th brand, aimed at serving the $20 billion midscale hotel market of around 14 million travelers looking for an exceptional value stay, Maalouf said.

“They are ordinary people,” he said. “They are people from every demographic … they just don’t want all the frills. They want a clean room. They want the latest technology. They want a loyalty plan they can believe in. They want friendly service at a good value.”

As of February, IHG has signed a total of 75 Avid hotels. The very first Avid hotel is set to open this August in Oklahoma City.

Avid is designed to compete with brands such as Best Western, Tru by Hilton and La Quinta Inns & Suites. Its room rates will be 10 to 15 percent less than IHG’s Holiday Inn Express, or around $90 to $95 per night depending on the market.

The hotels will average about 95 rooms.

Hallmarks of Avid’s design include rooms designed for sound sleep, a free healthy grab-and-go breakfast and a simple booking process. Its rooms are about one-third smaller than Holiday Inn Express. But it offers technology such as content cast from a guest’s phone for video streaming services such as Netflix.

Much of the design for Avid occurred in IHG’s Design Center in Smyrna, a more than 20,0000-square-foot warehouse that today houses models of Avid’s guest rooms and lobby. It gives IHG the opportunity to tweak its design on a physical scale.

“It allows a lot of testing and learning to happen, and fail fast and move on, versus doing that inside a live hotel,” said Karen Gilbride, head of Avid hotels.

IHG has flagged more than 5,000 hotels globally, with more than 1,000 in the pipeline.

In Georgia, IHG has flagged 134 hotels, representing more than 15,000 rooms. There are 52 hotels in the pipeline for the state, most of those should open in three years.

That includes Georgia’s first Even hotel, that recently broke ground across from Alpharetta’s Avalon development. The 132-room hotel just secured a $14.6 million construction loan.

“We keep adding to our pipeline,” Maalouf said. “We’ve been in this metro area for over 25 years, and we are completing a very significant renovation of our office space in Ravinia.”

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