PARSIPPANY, NJ—Wyndham Hotels & Resorts continues forging ahead with new-construction growth, opening 11 newly built hotels across the U.S. in the first quarter and breaking ground on a number of hotels in its new-construction pipeline. In the same period, the company executed agreements for more than 25 future new-construction hotels in the U.S., further expanding its pipeline and planting roots for travel recovery in the long term.
Welcoming New Openings
The company’s 11 new-construction openings in the U.S. represent nearly 1,000 rooms. The recent openings, including properties across its La Quinta by Wyndham, Wingate by Wyndham, Days Inn by Wyndham, and Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham brands, are situated in destinations primed for domestic, drive-to leisure travel such as Miramar Beach, FL; Houston; Spokane, WA; and Wisconsin Dells, WI.
Laying Foundation for the Future
Developers are also starting construction on hotels in the pipeline, reinforcing optimism for the industry’s recovery. Developers for Wyndham-branded hotels broke ground on approximately 10 new hotels in the U.S. year-to-date, including a Microtel hotel in Hot Springs, AR; a La Quinta hotel in San Antonio, TX; an extended-stay Hawthorn Suites hotel in Oklahoma City, OK.; and a Trademark Collection by Wyndham hotel in Leavenworth, KS.
“Despite a rapidly changing landscape for hotel developers around the world, a number of our owners are pressing forward with new-construction projects in the economy and midscale segments, reinforcing our overall confidence in the long-term viability of our industry,” said Krishna Paliwal, head of architecture, design and construction, Wyndham. “New-construction growth, however gradual, represents our optimism for the future of travel. Not only do our highly recognizable brands provide significant value to hotel owners who join the Wyndham family, especially during difficult times, but they also represent the consistent, trusted and affordable experience travelers will be seeking now more than ever before.”
Igniting the Conversion Engine
Though construction has generally slowed across the industry, Wyndham continues to welcome new projects while igniting its conversion engine, which is fueled by the strong value proposition across its portfolio of brands, according to the company. In the first quarter, Wyndham’s conversion pipeline increased 8% globally year-over-year. The company reports a proven track record of growing net rooms during lodging cycle downturns and, with more than 15,000 independent economy and midscale hotels in the U.S., converting independent hotels to Wyndham brands remains an important source of consistent rooms growth for the company through both up and down cycles.
Well-Positioned for Recovery
The impact of COVID-19 continues to rapidly evolve and many factors remain uncertain. As the pandemic begins to abate in the U.S., Wyndham’s existing franchisees are likely to be well-positioned for recovery, according to the company. It operates a nearly 90% drive-to business in the U.S. with a concentration in the select-service chain scale segments—which have outperformed higher-end full-service hotels during the pandemic—and more than 95% of its domestic guests originate within the U.S., making them less reliant on air travel.
Wyndham also recently announced “Count on Us,” a new long-term, multifaceted initiative to build confidence among guests and to support franchisees as it prepares to welcome travelers back to its U.S. hotels. The initiative will immediately focus on further elevating health and safety protocols at Wyndham hotels in the wake of COVID-19, shoring up critical supply chains and introducing new standards, training and guidelines grounded in guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Wyndham has expanded its relationship with Ecolab on requiring consistent use of Ecolab’s EPA-approved disinfectants in guestrooms and public spaces nationwide.