Cambria Hotels Inks Deal With Koucar Management to Develop New Cambria Hotels in Detroit and Portland, Maine

USA, Rockville, Maryland. April 30, 2019

Choice Hotels International, Inc. (NYSE: CHH) inked agreements with Koucar Management to develop new Cambria hotels in Detroit and Portland, Maine. The upscale hotels are slated to open in 2020 and 2021, respectively.

Located at 600 W. Lafayette Boulevard, the new 154-room Cambria Hotel in Detroit will be in a bustling downtown neighborhood that has played a vital role in the city's ongoing renaissance. Just a short drive away, guests can easily travel to many national corporate headquarters, including Ford, General Motors, Chrysler, and Quicken Loans. The hotel's proximity to Wayne State University, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit Medical Center, and Tech Town, Detroit's urban technology and research center, will make it an easy choice when selecting lodging in the Detroit area. Nearby attractions also include the Cobo Center, Little Caesars Arena, Comerica Park, Ford Field, and various museums, breweries, and restaurants.

The new, 102-room Cambria Hotel in Portland, Maine will be the brand's first hotel in the state. Situated at 86 Newbury St. on the highly sought-after "Peninsula" of Portland, the hotel joins the historic seacoast town with a thriving port and vibrant business community. It is within walking distance to Downtown Portland's numerous local attractions, such as The Portland Museum of Art and the Old Port, alongside fine dining, breweries, live entertainment, and shopping.

"Cambria's unique value proposition and overall performance is leading more and more developers to commit to multiple projects, further accelerating the brand's growth in prime locations across the United States," said Mark Shalala, vice president, franchise development, upscale brands, Choice Hotels. "The Detroit and Portland projects are part of a package of four Cambria hotels in strategic markets that Koucar Companies will deliver in the coming months. The Detroit market has seen a surge in investment in downtown businesses, which has provided a jolt to local demand with occupancy and average daily rate steadily rising last year. At the same time, Portland, Maine is one of the top RevPAR markets in the country, thanks in part to record tourism. Through this programmatic investment approach with developers like the Koucar Companies, the brand's pipeline is the largest it has ever been, with over 85 hotels under development."

There are more than 40 Cambria hotels open across the U.S. in popular cities like Chicago; Los Angeles; Nashville, Tenn.; New York; New Orleans; Phoenix; and Washington D.C. Cambria Hotels will be entering more prime markets this year, including Anaheim, Calif.; Boston; Houston; and Napa, Calif.

"The Cambria Hotels brand is projected to surpass another milestone this year with 50 hotels open coast to coast," said Janis Cannon, senior vice president, upscale brands, Choice Hotels. "As the brand grows, we strategically invest in market intelligence to help developers identify the best new locations, ensuring the hotels are in proximity to businesses and attractions, while also offering a genuine sense of place and upscale amenities to exceed the needs of modern travelers. Detroit and Portland are both desirable locations, and we're excited to bring the Cambria experience to guests in these prime markets."

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Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.