Wyndham Hotels & Resorts will launch an economy extended-stay hotel brand called Project ECHO, the Parsippany company announced March 22.
Wyndham has been developing Project ECHO, an acronym for Economy Hotel Opportunity, since summer 2021 amid a boom in business at economy extended-stay hotels.
“Over the last two years, economy extended-stay hotels outperformed all other segments, and in 2021, set new records for occupancy, ADR and RevPAR,” said Geoff Ballotti, president and chief executive officer of Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, in a prepared statement. “Demand for these accommodations only continues to climb—both from guests and developers alike—making now the right time for Wyndham, the definitive leader in the economy segment, to bring our experience and expertise to this high-potential space.”
Economy extended-stay hotels are proven to consistently perform throughout all stages of the lodging cycle, and are particularly resilient amid a downturn, Wyndham’s announcement said. During the global pandemic, the U.S. segment grew 8% over 2019, while the rest of the industry declined 17%. Last year, the average U.S. occupancy for economy extended-stay hotels was over 78%, which is 20% higher than all other U.S. segments combined.
The 50,000-square-foot, 124-room Project ECHO prototype requires less than 2 acres of land. Nearly 74% of the square footage is comprised of rentable single and two-queen studio suites with in-suite kitchenettes. Efficiently designed public spaces, including a lobby, fitness center and guest laundry, help to limit labor needs, the company said.
“From day one, Wyndham has made a point of reaching out and asking, ‘What should be done differently?’ It wasn’t about dictating to us what the brand would be but rather, wanting to understand its potential and how our experience and expertise could best help developers meet their goals,” said Ian McClure, chief executive officer, Gulf Coast Hotel Management. “For us, that went a long way. It showed they’re committed to getting this brand right.”
Fifty hotels are in the initial pipeline, including 25 each from inaugural development partners Richmond, Va.-based Sandpiper Hospitality and Dallas-based Gulf Coast Hotel Management over the next five years.
The first Project ECHO is expected to open in 2023.