Best Western has announced the formation of SureStay Hotel Group, a new economy and lower mid-level brand rolled out at the Lodging Conference held at the end of September at the Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa. The brand is designed to complement the Best Western flagship brands – Best Western, Best Western Plus and Best Western Premier.
Best Western realized that as it was improving the flagship brands by requiring franchisees to make significant capital investment to upgrade guest experiences at its hotels to remain competitive, it was losing properties that did not have the capital to invest to other economy brands. Often, these properties fit well into a variety of budget brands such as EconoLodge, Travelodge, Super 8 and Americas Best Value Inn. Best Western wanted to capture those hotels and the associated franchise fees, hence the creation of SureStay Hotel Group to accomplish that goal.
Now franchisees that cannot upgrade to the flagship brand standards have an option to convert to the new brand, often with minimal conversion costs. Owners “stay within the Best Western family and keep the support provided by the world’s largest hotel chain,” said David Kong, president and CEO of Best Western Hotel and Resorts.
For the hotelier, the advantages of making a conversion to the SureStay brand are significant. SureStay offers an owner who does not believe the market can justify the costs to maintain the Best Western brand the opportunity to downscale to another price point. It is the first time Best Western has offered a migration route for members to an economy product. In addition, SureStay owners will follow a traditional franchise model with a 15-year franchise agreement and competitive franchise fees.