Hospitality must constantly reform to adapt to a changing world—more so in 2020, when the hotel industry has been upended by the global COVID-19 pandemic. For Ryan Rivett, president and CEO of My Place Hotels of America, there is only one way to respond to it all—more change. Today, My Place announced that it is launching a new brand, Trend Hotels & Suites, a collection of upper-midscale and upscale select-service and extended-stay hotels.
The new franchise offering is My Place’s second brand. My Place Hotels, its flagship new-construction, extended-stay chain, currently has 56 locations across 27 states. Trend aims to efficiently convert select-service and all-suite hotels from a variety of participants spanning diverse market and demographic profiles, with basic standards and qualifications for properties opened in 2005 or later. Trend has a 5 percent franchise royalty fee (gross room revenue).
Rivett told LODGING how the idea first arose, as several concepts were tossed around in recent years. My Place was looking for a new “vehicle of growth” after creating a brand with distinct core values, and Trend Hotels & Suites became a means for expansion.
Trend Hotels & Suites will focus on marketing to “hoteliers who are reassessing their franchise affiliation in search of a more balanced relationship of support and contribution,” Rivett explained. He sees this as an opportunity for owners to broaden their horizons.
“I fully expect the launch of Trend to represent increased opportunities for franchise sales and development. I think there is a good component of hoteliers out there that have observed My Place and have done a little research, but their active development plans have been focused on the brand that they’ve been affiliated with,” he explained. “And now, with this being an opportunity to convert one or multiple [hotels], there’s more likelihood and more stimulus [for owners] to pursue My Place development.”
Trend plans to expand into markets that are new to My Place, and attract new guests looking for upscale stays. “It’s an opportunity to add value, and for us to gain access to new markets without adding supply. One of the concerns that every hotelier has had is the over-saturation of hotel products in markets across the U.S.,” Rivett added.
Rivett said that the timing of the brand’s launch has been met with some raised eyebrows, but he maintains that this may be the perfect time for a new addition. “I think every time we come out of an economic circumstance like this—whether it’s a recession or a global pandemic—everyone becomes a bit more conservative,” he said. Rivett said that he believes the new My Place product may be the answer for these newly conservative hotel developers and operators—not just a solution now, but for the long-term.
“When you think of starting something new, you think of coming out of normal circumstances and not of totally abnormal circumstances,” Rivett said. “It’ll be interesting to see how much it changes what the ‘new norm’ is for us, in a bigger way than just post-COVID-19, but also the hotel brand.”