MINNEAPOLIS, Minn.—AmericInn kicked off its 2012 Annual Convention yesterday touting accelerating momentum driven by a strategy of national expansion, system-wide revenue growth, and the largest investment in hotel improvements in company history, a summary of events e-mailed to Lodging said.
Paul Kirwin, president and CEO of AmericInn, welcomed convention attendees with an opening keynote address, highlighting major achievements in the company’s multiyear business strategy. “We are pleased to report significant progress on our three key objectives of new unit growth, increased revenue and hotel upgrades through renovation and investment,” Kirwin told attendees.
Highlights included the opening of seven new hotels during the past year plus the signing of ten additional new properties. “With over 260 hotels open and under development in 27 states, we are continuing to grow at a strong pace,” Kirwin said. “We are particularly encouraged by the growth of AmericInn hotels through new construction such as the locations in Fairfield and Osage, Iowa. The return of newly constructed hotels, featuring our latest design concepts and hospitality
services, reflects the beginning of a promising new era of growth opportunity for AmericInn.”
Kirwin also announced the largest hotel renovation initiative in company history with over $75 million being invested systemwide to create a fresh new look for all AmericInn locations. “This program, called ‘AmericInn Refresh’, will create a contemporary hospitality experience for our customers and represents a new look for the future of the brand,” Kirwin stated.
“AmericInn Refresh” is taking place over a three-year period and includes the following improvements to be phased into all hotels:
New cozy Serta Perfect Sleeper beds
32” flat screen televisions
New guestroom furniture
Contemporary new color schemes
Guestroom work spaces equipped to meet the needs of today’s business traveler
New curtains and other guestroom “soft goods”
“Implementation of this extensive renovation program will ensure that all AmericInn hotels remain vibrant and highly competitive in the travel market with hospitality offerings that are relevant and valued by our customers,” Kirwin said.
Strong revenue growth is another key focus of the AmericInn strategy. “Our systemwide revenues continue to grow, and most importantly, the key financial indicator of Revenue Per Available Room (REVPAR) increased by five percent during the past year,” Kirwin noted.
Contributing to revenue growth was a major increase in central reservation activity. “During the past year, revenues delivered through the AmericInn reservations channels surged by ten percent,” Kirwin said. “Our total reservation system is now delivering approximately 30 per cent of revenues, a signal of the increasing visibility and strength of the AmericInn brand.”
“We will continue to drive this growth through new investments in distribution and marketing programs,” Kirwin said. This includes a major new upgrade of the AmericInn website that is scheduled for implementation in 2012. “We are excited to announce a significant investment in a new generation AmericInn website, featuring improved design and functionality to further drive revenue growth."
The new AmericInn website will feature a contemporary, streamlined look, new customer friendly search features and advanced functionality including special technology designed for smart phones and tablets. “This total redesign will favorably position AmericInn to capture new revenues in today’s highly connected and fast-paced travel environment,” Kirwin said.
“Another source of increased revenues has been from members of the AmericInn guest rewards program. During the past year, members of the rapidly expanding AmericInn Easy Rewards generated over 25 per cent of our brand room nights,” he added. “Our Easy Rewards customers are increasing both the number of AmericInn hotels where they stay plus the frequency of their visits.”
The theme of the 2012 Annual Convention is “Be Brilliant Together”, reflecting a collaborative approach to building value in the AmericInn brand. “We all are striving together to make AmericInn an exceptional and rewarding enterprise for our customers, employees, owners and communities,” he said. Over 500 participants attended the convention including hotel owners, managers, franchisees, vendors and corporate employees.
As part of an on-going commitment to support America’s military, the convention also included a special event where hundreds of gift items were prepared, packaged and donated to military families. The convention attendees collaborated on the preparation of the gift items including stuffing teddy bears, assembling bicycles and packing tote bags with toys, games and activities promoting family time. Supporting the military has been a foundational element of the “AmericInn Cares” culture with several previous events focusing on the preparation of thousands of military care packages that have been sent to troops stationed overseas.