Gutsy move by IHG

Gutsy move by IHG

IHG has created a concept for a hotel segment not yet exploited ? affordable health and wellness. It looks fresh; my fitness-minded, 20-something editor likes it; and macro trends tend to support this idea. Now, time will tell if consumers really want to stay in a ?healthy? hotel. They say they do, but we have all seen people say one thing and mean another.

If my memory serves me correctly, Westin planned a similar concept about a dozen years ago or more under the leadership of Jurgen Bartels, but it never materialized. (Maybe someone else remembers and can confirm this with me via the comment section below?)

I like that IHG is putting its money where its mouth is with seed money to get the brand off the ground. I think others have learned similar lessons about having to show developers first, and then reel them in.

Conversion opportunities should be running amok in the next few years, and with IHG?s marketing might, this could serve as a head-turning alternative to traditional lifestyle hotels.

Can you believe I just wrote ?traditional lifestyle hotels”? I can. Lifestyle has become the industry norm. Lifestyle with a fitness edge ? now we really do have something new to talk about and watch closely.

Gutsy move, IHG.