IHG’s Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites Introduce the Industry’s First Extended-Stay Owner Certification
Owner feedback and performance data indicate extended-stay education is crucial to success of the operation
ATLANTA - IHG’s extended-stay hotel brands, Staybridge Suites® and Candlewood Suites® have taken major steps toward sustaining the ongoing health and success of their hotel portfolios through the launch of an in-depth education program for owners of both new and existing hotels.
The “Extended-Stay Owner Certification” program is set up similar to college education levels starting with a bachelor’s degree in extended-stay, a master’s degree and a Ph.D. Owners are eligible to earn the bachelor certification once they complete the course and meet or exceed specified performance thresholds. The course focuses on four key training modules: hiring the right team members, targeting the right guest, using the extended-stay operations model and working with the brands’ field resources.
Despite challenging economic conditions, both Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites are already seeing success as a result of the program. Both gained market share against their direct competitors during first quarter of 2009, one year after the program was launched.
“It’s not by coincidence that we’re gaining market share at a time when we’re taking owners through a program that focuses on the keys to running a successful extended-stay hotel,” said Robert Radomski, vice president, Global Brand Management, Extended-Stay Brands, IHG. “Hotel performance is a key factor in securing and maintaining the degree and in advancing to the next level.”
Mark Demple is vice president, Operations for Sugarland Enterprises, Inc., the company that owns the Candlewood Suites Sheridan, Wyo., which is the brand’s very first property in the new prototype design. Demple is new to the extended-stay business model and believes they are running a more profitable business as a result of attending the IHG Extended-Stay Owner Certification class.
“It starts with the owner,” said Demple. “After I attended the class I had a better understanding of the Candlewood Suites operations model and set forth a process to achieve higher profits.”
For owners who already have extended-stay expertise, the class can serve as a refresher course.
“While we had a pretty good grasp of the extended-stay model from the beginning, the certification process reaffirmed our decision to have a dedicated Sales Manager and a strong General Manager, which is crucial when running a successful extended-stay operation.” said Adrian Wewers, Partner and Asset Manager for North Candle, LLC the ownership group for the Candlewood Suites Charleston, S.C.
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