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Press releases

Travelodge Unveils Unique ‘Metro’ Hotel Model To Accelerate Growth In Prestigious UK Locations & Office Blocks

31st May 2011


Today, Travelodge, the UK’s fastest growing hotel company, has announced that it will be seeking to develop ‘Metro’ (small) style hotels, in prestigious locations and in office blocks across the UK; in a bid to meet the growing demands of its customers.

These properties which will be between 20 to 40 rooms in size, will allow Travelodge to build small hotels in highly priced, much sought after locations and occupied office buildings across the UK. The desired locations will include:

• The City of London
• London Boroughs such as: Kensington & Chelsea, Westminster, Fulham and Richmond
• Major UK cities such as: Oxford, Cambridge, Bath, Cardiff, York, Bristol, Chester, St Albans and Edinburgh
• The coastline of the UK
• Popular holiday hotspots such as: Cornwall, Devon, the Lake District, the Scottish Highlands and near to theme parks

The ‘Metro’ hotel model will allow the hotel chain to open properties near to existing popular Travelodge’s in locations where larger development sites are either not available or have unrealistic price expectations. In addition to enabling the budget hotelier to open in suburban locations where larger sites may not be deemed desirable by local authorities and development land is at a premium.

Properties that will be considered under this new scheme include: floors in office buildings, business parks, pubs, old cinemas / theaters, snooker halls, listed buildings, retail outlets and derelict buildings.

The desire to build smaller Travelodge hotels has been inspired by two successful development ventures the company invested in during 2010. The first initiative was opening a ‘Metro’ style prototype hotel in one of Edinburgh’s busiest tourist areas (Rose Street which is just off Princes Street). Travelodge built a hotel in a Georgian listed building which also houses two bars and a restaurant. The 43-room hotel sits above the three properties and has a small entrance sandwiched between the bar and restaurant. The hotel has become one of the company’s top performing hotels due to its key location..

The second venture to support the ‘Metro’ style Travelodge concept is the successful conversion of 52 Innkeeper’s Lodge’s into the Travelodge estate following their purchase from Mitchells & Butlers in July 2010. The majority of these acquired hotels are under 40 rooms and have proven to be highly profitable additions for Travelodge. A prime example is the 18-room Southgate Travelodge, in the London borough of Enfield, which has been full nearly every night since acquiring it. There is little competition nearby and there are no development opportunities within the local vicinity, despite the clear demand for hotel rooms.

Guy Parsons, Chief Executive of Travelodge Hotels said: “Following the success of our Edinburgh ‘Metro’ prototype hotel and the conversion of 52 Innkeeper’s Lodges to the Travelodge brand, we have discovered just how profitable smaller hotels can be for us. Therefore to accelerate our growth strategy we are going to start building ‘Metro’ style hotels across the UK. This concept will allow us to open hotels where other hoteliers can’t develop. We are looking to open 100 ‘Metro’ Travelodge’s in prime spots where are customers need us, by 2020. Our desired locations will include: office buildings, business parks, major cities, popular holiday destinations and within London’s affluent Boroughs.”

“The ‘Metro’ model will also allow us to expand in our top performing locations where there are few 60 plus room sites available. Downsizing our hotel building requirements will open hundreds of development opportunities for us. This will enable us to expand quickly and meet the growing demands from consumers who want low cost and good quality accommodation in prime locations.”

This new building approach will run alongside Travelodge’s existing growth strategy to expand to 1,100 hotels and 100,000 rooms by 2025. The ‘Metro’ style properties will still be called Travelodge hotels and the room size will be based on a standard double Travelodge room (15sqft)

The ‘Metro’ Travelodge’s will be run by existing managers of nearby larger Travelodge hotels and will provide the perfect training ground for trainee managers, recruited via Travelodge’s new Apprenticeship programme – JuMP (Junior Management Programme).

This announcement also ensures that Travelodge will continue to be the most active developer in the hotel market. Since the collapse of Lehman brothers, the company has opened or exchanged on over 14,000 rooms/4.5m sq ft, more than any other leisure company in Britain. Travelodge has also become the largest hotel brand in: London, Edinburgh, Birmingham and Cambridge.

Over the last five years Travelodge has heavily focused on city centre growth to rebalance its portfolio - away from roadside locations. Today these motorway and trunk route sites represent just 25% of the company’s hotel stock with the remaining quarter in suburban, seaside and tourist locations.

Travelodge currently has 472 hotels (over 32,000 rooms) across the UK and is currently building 40 hotels this year.

ENDS

Notes to editors:
Images of Edinburgh Rose Street Travelodge are available by calling the Travelodge press office on 01844 35 8703
Edinburgh Rose Street Travelodge is located at 37- 43 Rose Street, Edinburgh EH2 2NH

About Travelodge:
The first budget hotel brand to launch in the UK in 1985, Travelodge now operates 472 hotels and over 32,000 rooms across the UK, Ireland (11) and Spain(3). Travelodge plans to grow its estate to 1,100 hotels and 100,000 rooms by 2025. Over 13 million people stayed with Travelodge last year and 90% of reservations are currently made online at www.travelodge.co.uk, where room rates start at £19 per night. The chain employs over 6,000 staff.

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