WICHITA, Kan.—WoodSpring Hotels, operators of the WoodSpring Suites and Value Place brands, have launched a new prototype brand extension targeted to mid-priced, extended-stay travelers who typically stay for weeks at a time and want higher service levels. WoodSpring Suites Signature will differentiate itself by providing an enhanced guest experience, including additional amenities and services not found in the current WoodSpring Suites offerings.
“The Signature prototype has been designed with the business traveler in mind, who has greater needs when on the road for an extended period of time,” said Bruce Haase, WoodSpring Hotels’ chief executive officer. “The rates for this lower midscale hotel will be approximately 20 percent above a standard WoodSpring Suites, typically $300 to $400 per week, market depending. WoodSpring Suites Signature is a brand new product that will benefit both our guests and franchisees.”
“Our commitment to the extended stay segment remains as high as ever, evidenced by the fact that we continue to franchise as well as aggressively develop new properties on our own behalf,” said Haase. “We expect to break ground on over 40 hotels in 2016, a quarter of which will be corporate owned and managed. In addition, we expect to break ground on more than 50 hotels in 2017, bringing us to nearly 100 newly-built hotels in two years.”
The new Signature prototype incorporates a residential-style exterior design with a larger lobby. Additional amenities include a convenience store, fitness center, 24-hour laundry facilities, staff training room, and optional meeting space. Guest rooms also offer additional features that set it apart from current WoodSpring Suites and Value Place hotels, including in-room dishwashers, quartz countertops in the kitchen and bathroom, upgraded drapery with sheers, more comfortable bedding experience with more pillows, and stand-up showers with glass doors. Signature hotels provide weekly housekeeping for longer-staying guests and daily light touch service for shorter stays.
“Over the last year, we have significantly stepped up our research to determine what our guests want to be more productive on the road while maintaining a semblance of a ‘home-like’ feel,” said Mike Varner, executive vice president of brand strategy and management. “Most importantly, we’ve learned that the stay needs to be simple, not fussy or complicated. And there needs to be real value—paying for the things that matter, not what they don’t want. All WoodSpring Suites hotels are designed to meet these needs, and the guest response has been positive. Some guests, however, also have said they’d be willing to spend additional for a product that offers a bit more. The Signature prototype does just that, providing simple, straightforward extras for a more demanding traveler.”
Construction cost for the new prototype ranges from $50,000 to $55,000 per key, excluding land. The company currently has WoodSpring Suites Signature projects under development in Cranberry (Pittsburgh), Pa. (fourth quarter 2016 opening date), and Saugus (Boston), Mass. (spring 2017 opening date), as well as three projects underway in both the greater Houston and Seattle markets, for a total of eight Signature hotels in the pipeline. With a pre-approved design plan, development for these projects tend to run more quickly than other limited service hotel brands.
The company is on track to rebrand the majority of their portfolio of 200 hotels from Value Place to WoodSpring Suites by year’s end 2016.