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Published on : Tuesday, January 26, 2016
Ascend Hotel Collection, a pioneer of the “soft brand revolution” continues to demonstrate its enduring strength in understanding the needs and wants of today’s hotel guest and independent-minded hotelier. The portfolio of distinctive upscale independent hotels and resorts, which is part of Choice Hotels International, one of the world’s leading hotel companies, entered 2016 with 14 new hotel openings in key domestic business and leisure markets and is poised for more rapid expansion with several notable projects under development across the United States.
“Choice Hotels overall is constantly innovating and differentiating itself in the hospitality industry. With Ascend Hotel Collection, this is how we stay ahead of the curve as an attractive option for guests and hoteliers alike,” said Steve Joyce, president and CEO of Choice Hotels. “Ascend led the pack in developing and promoting the soft brand concept because we saw an opportunity to offer something decidedly different. Since launching, we have provided independent hoteliers the support and simplicity they need in an increasingly complex operating environment, without dictating how their hotels should look, feel or be run.”
NEW MEMBERS SEE PROMPT PERFORMANCE PAYOFF
In 2015, Ascend Hotel Collection added member hotels and resorts in top travel markets including: New York City; Los Angeles; Orlando; Myrtle Beach, SC; Williamsburg, VA; Big Bear Lake, CA; Kissimmee, FL; Niagara Falls, NY; Little Rock, AR; Lake Placid, NY; and Morehead City, NC. Through their association with Ascend Hotel Collection, these hotels are now gaining the benefits of robust distribution, technology, and Choice Privileges — the Choice Hotels loyalty program — as well as other services such as training, operational consulting, procurement savings, corporate sales and access to a network of like-minded hotel owners and operators.
Six of these new properties joined the collection as a result of Choice Hotels’ strategic alliance with Bluegreen Vacations Resorts. In aggregate, the 28 Bluegreen resorts currently in the Ascend Hotel Collection are experiencing favorable year over year gains in 2015 in terms of average daily rate, occupancy, as well as RevPAR. Bluegreen attributes these increases to their affiliation with the Ascend Hotel Collection and Choice Hotels.
Among the 2015 new entrants to the portfolio that are reporting immediate positive change in average daily rate and CRS contribution upon opening as a member of the Ascend Hotel Collection include:
Bluegreen Vacations Big Bear Village (Big Bear Lake, California) – Nestled in the gorgeous mountains of Big Bear Lake in Southern California, Ascend Hotel Collection’s Bluegreen Big Bear Village is the ideal destination for an alpine adventure. Enjoy everything this outdoor paradise has to offer – from water skiing, kayaking and wake boarding to horseback riding, ziplining and guided helicopter tours. You’ll appreciate our own hiking and nature area or our recreation area where you can play a game of pool. Additional amenities include free Wi-Fi; free parking on premises; and an exercise room.
Bluegreen Vacations Innsbruck (Aspen, Colorado) – Conveniently located in the heart of downtown at the foot of Aspen Mountain ski resort, this boutique hotel is close to a variety of attractions, including four ski mountains, the Aspen Art Museum, Independence Pass, Roaring Fork River and Collegiate Peaks. After a day of skiing, relax in the outdoor heated pool and whirlpool or use the exercise room. Additional amenities include free Wi-Fi, free newspaper Monday through Friday, free parking and guest laundry facilities.
Hotel North Woods (Lake Placid, New York) — With several Olympic sites within walking distance, Whiteface Mountain only 20 minutes away, and the abundance of shopping and dining options just an elevator ride from your guest room, Ascend Hotel Collection’s boutique hotel in Lake Placid keeps you close to all the attractions that make the area special, including the Olympic Center (1980 Herb Brooks Arena), the U.S. Olympic Museum, High Falls Gorge and a X-Country Ski Center. Hotel North Woods features its own restaurant and offers meeting space for up to 260 people. All non-smoking guest rooms offer a recharge device, microwave, refrigerator, Keurig coffee maker, hair dryer, iron and ironing board. Some rooms feature a balcony and a lake or main street view.
EXCEPTIONAL PRODUCT. EXCITING NEW PLACES
Not only is the continued stream of members converting into the system a testament to the appeal of the Ascend Hotel Collection, but, equally so, is enthusiastic interest from design-focused developers in primary markets seeking to pursue new construction or adaptive re-use project opportunities.
In 2015, the Ascend Hotel Collection signed 37 new member agreements in key travel markets nationwide, including, Pittsburgh, PA; Seattle, WA; Brooklyn, NY; Long Beach, CA; LaJolla, CA; Salt Lake City, UT; Hyannis, MA; and Detroit, MI.
“We have seen firsthand the positive impact an innovatively designed and thoughtfully developed Ascend Hotel Collection member can have on its local market, both economically as well as culturally. This has been especially true with our adaptive re-use or historic restoration projects in revitalized neighborhoods,” said Neil Cantor, head of Ascend Hotel Collection. “Local communities embrace these types of businesses and travelers, especially experience-hungry Millennials, who want to stay at these kinds of unique and hyper-local hotels.”
Ascend Hotel Collection®: let the destination reach you.
The best travel experiences can’t be found in a guidebook. That’s why the one-of-a-kind, upscale properties in the Ascend Hotel Collection® membership program let you focus on your destination in a whole new way. Each Ascend® hotel is a unique reflection of its local community, with staff committed to sharing their insider knowledge of the places, moments and experiences that makes each destination special. You’ll discover hidden treasures off the beaten path, and find the true local flavor you crave.
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