SAN ANTONIO—Which markets is My Place Hotels of America LLC focusing its development efforts on? “From a franchise development perspective, I’d like to say all of them, and I think we’re proving that as we go along,” said Terry Kline, EVP of franchise development at My Place, during Wednesday’s opening keynote at the economy extended-stay brand’s annual conference, held this year at the Hyatt Regency Hill County Resort and Spa.
“The growth of the chain is predicated on your ability to talk to other people, and share your stories and your experiences about us and about My Place, about your operators, and about your guests with people who might be interested in getting involved with My Place and helping us to grow beyond where we’re at today,” said Ryan Rivett, the brand’s CEO, who shared the stage with Kline.
The following My Place properties have opened since last year’s convention: Amarillo, TX; Loveland, CO; Lubbock, TX; Lithia Springs, GA; Independence, MO; Ketchikan, AK; West Jordan, UT; Marquette, MI; Meridian, ID; and Council Bluffs, IA (the brand’s most recent opening location).
“It’s really been a great period of development for us,” Rivett said. “It’s been a great time to welcome people to the chain and to create a lot of new relationships.”
My Place has seen increases in top line performance: Occupancy has increased by 3% year-over-year and ADR has increased by 6.5% during the same time period. My Place’s CEO, who was appointed in May, credits the brand’s franchisees and operators for the brand’s ongoing success.
With regard to franchisee data, the duo shared the following main points with attendees: 27% of franchisees have developed properties close to home; 57% of franchisees bought their second property before opening their first property; and 70% of franchise are using a strategic approach with multiple properties (these franchisees are “connecting the dots”).
Another notable statistic for the economy extended-stay brand: 60% of franchises have at least one property up and running. “That’s an interesting number considering the fact that we’ve opened so many properties in the last 12 months, and it really put in perspective for me just how many new people joined us this year and how much they’re going to do in the coming year,” Rivett said. “There’s just a lot of opportunity and a lot of growth that’s going to happen in the next 12 months that we’re very excited about.” What’s consistent about My Place’s franchisees? They’re all going after more than one property, he added.
To put perspective on the differences in My Place locations, the brand separates its properties into two segments: unique markets (which includes Bend, OR; Marquette MI; and Ketchikan, AK) and traditional markets (which includes Amarillo, TX; Boise/Merididan, ID; and Loveland, CO).
“We plan for economic swings and shifts by finding as much diversity in demand generators as we can, by looking forward to what the market is going to look like years from now and making sure that we build in the location where we have as secure of an investment as we can find for the long term,” the brand’s CEO said.
The brand will continue to stimulate growth in the chain, enter new areas of the country and provide confidence to “our franchisees and guests that My Place will go, and we’ll make sure that does so rapidly and efficiently,” Rivett said.
The brand had 11 properties open and 20 franchises sold in 2014; 21 properties open and 30 franchises sold in 2015; and 28 properties open and 40 franchises sold in 2016. “In the next couple of months, we’ll be at 38 properties open and 52 franchises sold,” he said. “By end of year next year, we should be around 63 properties open and 86 [franchisees sold], and by mid-year 2019, we can project the 100th property based on a specific conversation that’s going on right now at this moment.”