Holiday Inn Gets $1 Billion Makeover

In the midst of the recession, Intercontinental Hotels doled out $1 billion to make over its Holiday Inn properties in the largest relaunch in the history of the hospitality industry.

Holiday Inn Gets $1B Makeover
Holiday Inn Gets $1B Makeover   

While it seems counterintuitive to invest so much money in such volatile economic times, Intercontinental Hotels USA President Jim Abrahamson said there couldn't be a better time.

"What customers are doing today is not just trading about price, obviously, it's about value," Abrahamson said. "Customers aren't giving up quality as a tradedown."

As part of the relaunch, Intercontinental retrained Holiday Inn employees at all 3,400 hotels across the country, upgraded its bedding and added a higher-quality sound system, Abrahamson said.

Abrahamson said the leisure customer remained strong through the summer, and the company's focus will shift to business travelers in the fall.

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