Chairman-CEO Bryan Langton said the goal is to eliminate confusion about the Crowne Plaza properties, in the past called Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza, and position them to compete more effectively against Hyatt, Marriott and Hilton.
"Crowne will now have the opportunity for wider penetration in the meetings and conventions market as well as the business traveler," he said. "... We found that Crowne Plaza, with Holiday's name on it, meant many big customers were stretching themselves [to associate Crowne Plaza with a business-oriented hotel] ... We feel the brand has more of a chance in the meetings and conventions market without the name."
The new brands to be introduced are Holiday Inn Select and Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites.
Select will fall directly under Crowne Plaza in Holiday Inn's pecking order and will be in the upper middle market with special emphasis on the business traveler. The main difference between a Select and a core Holiday Inn hotel will be in-room amenities. With an eye to the business traveler, Select will include fax machines, desks, copiers and telecommunications options.
With Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites, the company will try to mix short stay guests with extended stay guests; 10% of the keys on the property must be for suites.
Mr. Langton said he wasn't ready to disclose how marketing of the changes would be handled. Young & Rubicam, New York, is the agency for the 1,900-hotel chain (the figure includes about 1,520 Holiday Inns and 93 Crowne Plazas, with Holiday Inn Express accounting for the bulk of the remainder).