The Dawning of a New Days Inn

The Days Inn brand now features the Dawn room package.

As AAHOACON ’24 is poised to kick off, the association is celebrating 35 years since its formation and what marked the dawning of a new day for Asian American hoteliers. Similarly, it’s the ‘dawning’ of a new day for one of its earliest supporters, the Days Inn by Wyndham brand, which recently ramped up the rollout of its Dawn rooms package.

Wyndham and the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) have been intertwined since the onset of the association, which in 1989 was co-founded by Mike Levin, who was president of Days Inn at the time, along with Stephen P Holmes, now Wyndham Chairman, and his predecessor, Henry Silverman. In fact, the economy brand’s leadership wrote a check for $100,000 to help fund AAHOA, according to current Days Inn brand president John Henderson.

“We couldn’t be prouder to support AAHOA and Days Inn has been part of the AAHOA journey since day one,” he said, adding that Leven realized “there was an opportunity to help the Asian Americans on their journey.”

Days Inn, meanwhile, and its more than 1,500 global properties, is on a journey of its own. The economy brand has undergone an evolution over the past 5-10 years, according to Wyndham, highlighted by strategic investments in the brand. One such investment is its Dawn rooms package. Wyndham recently revamped the rollout, which was initially released in 2019 just prior to COVID.


“In 2019 we realized as the brand was nearing its 50th year in the economy segment that we really wanted to update our guest room experience and provide our owners a competitive edge, as well as keeping up with our younger audiences,” said Henderson.

He went on to emphasize that the brand worked “hand-in-hand” with Days Inn owners and its franchise advisory committee on the refresh. Henderson further explained the impetus for the revised rollout.

“Coming out of COVID we really ramped up the program. We’ve modified our approach a bit with the use of Wyndham’s balance sheet to help support the renovations of the properties. A lot of our properties took on wear and tear during the COVID period because we really didn’t drop in revenue or business during that period. We felt the timing was perfect to get Wyndham’s support and to relaunch Dawn,” he said.

Starting at $2,400 per key, the Dawn package includes rooms that are bright and airy with sun-centric art as the focal point, according to the company. Furniture and fixtures are light and modern, emphasize in-room connectivity and feature vibrant pops of yellow throughout.  

According to Wyndham, hotels that have implemented the Dawn package have on average experienced a roughly 14 percent increase in RevPAR, as well as an approximate 7 percent increase in ADR. A prime example is the Days Inn by Wyndham Cocoa Beach Port Canaveral, which has seen an even greater rate lift since installing the Dawn package at the end of 2023. According to owner Tom Hermansen, the property has seen a $20 ADR premium and regularly gets more than $200 a night on weekends.

“This is an expanding market between Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral and our Days Inn is truly unique. This market is saturated with upper-midscale and upscale properties, you don’t have much premium economy product. I believe that’s what Days Inn aspires to be and what it can be and we’ve got a great location. We’re situated right next to the world-famous Cocoa Beach pier so we’re able to command a premium rate and provide real value for consumers,” said Hermansen.  

Hermensen, along with general manager Jaime Teijeiro, acknowledged the need for the Dawn package. They noted that prior to the installation of the package, “we saw our [guest satisfaction] scores begin to drop. We decided to accelerate the process of its adoption and it was a very easy, seamless transition,” according to Hermansen.

In addition to the Dawn package, Wyndham is also touting its Manufacturer Direct program, which is designed to allow owners to purchase and install brand-approved FF&E at the lowest-possible prices while acting as their own project manager.

From a marketing standpoint, the Days Inn brand has the highest brand awareness of any brand in the Wyndham portfolio and the second highest in the economy segment. Last summer’s “Seize the Days” campaign delivered more than 110 million impressions and some 200,000 site visits. According to the company, those exposed to those ads were 5 times more likely to make a booking.

“We leverage our footprint as part of our story. We’re everywhere our guests want and need to be. We’re off the highway, but we’re also near those big concert venues and those big stadiums. We’re close to where all the action is and so we weave that into our storytelling. Our brand marketing message is we want you to go out there and “Seize the Days,” said Anthony Pizzuto, head of marketing and operations for Days Inn.

Another catalyst for brand growth is the U.S. infrastructure package, according to Henderson, who noted the company has roughly 1,000 properties within 20 miles on ongoing projects. Roughly 200 of the 1,257 U.S. properties within the brand have fully transitioned to the Dawn package. Henderson noted that brand-wide compliance is expected by 2026.

“We’re very excited and bullish on the Dawn room package. We can’t wait to see what the system performance looks like in ’24, ‘25 and really ‘26 when we expect to have full adoption,” he concluded. 

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