More details on Carlson’s Country Inns & Suites refresh

Carlson executives discussed the renovation cost and motivation behind its Country Inn & Suites brand refresh at a press conference held Tuesday morning.

Carlson, Minnetonka, Minnesota, unveiled the brand’s Generation 4 on Monday, which included a new logo, architecture and interiors. The announcement came came during the Country Inns & Suites annual business conference being held this week at Fontainebleau Miami Beach.

At the press conference, Carlson revealed that the cost per key for the renovation will be approximately US$75,000 per key. Exact ROI figures for owners were not disclosed.

“The cost per key will be US$75,000 per key depending on location,” said Nancy Johnson, executive vice president, development, Americas, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group. “The ROI that was put in the selection of products really is going to be attractive to our development community. A lot of collaboration with owners was put into this.”

Johnson said that in addition to making the brand more appealing to Generation Y travelers, the refresh was also designed to appeal more to men.

“The prototype was designed to maintain the existing customer, but also trying to reach a broader Millennial customer base and male travelers,” Johnson said. “The usage of the logo as it existed was very limiting. It was difficult to use in advertising and didn’t appeal to male business travelers.”

As for reaction from franchisees, Carlson said Generation 4 received lots of positive feedback at the Miami Beach conference, although it acknowledged that some franchisees may not go forward with the brand.

“When we rolled it out here in Miami, the buzz that we’ve seen from existing franchisees that are attendees has just been overwhelming,” said Scott Meyer, senior vice president, midscale brands, Americas, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group.  “There will probably be handful that do not want to go on the ride, but the buzz here has been very positive.”

Click here to stream an online video from Carlson showing off the brand refresh.