At a recent press conference hosted by G6 Hospitality LLC, the corporate entity managing the economy hotel brands Motel 6, Studio 6, Motel 6 (pronounced Seis) and Estudio 6, we had a chance to learn more about what these classic highway motels have been up to since we last stayed in 1976.
Did you know that Motel 6 actually predates many Boomers? The chain opened in Santa Barbara in 1962 with $6 a night rooms, and has long flourished as a budget lodging option. In more recent times, however, the chain “was a bit under-loved by its owners,” CEO Jim Amorosia told the assembled media.
Motel 6 Goes Millennial
The biggest change in the brand came with Project Phoenix, an effort to revitalize Motel 6 for a new audience. Project Phoenix rooms are designed for the IKEA crowd – singles, couples, traveling salesmen, families who want style and function over durability or luxury. They are pet-friendly, too, and most importantly, marketed to the young.
Rooms are brightly painted, compact and more energy efficient. They have wood style floors made of recyclable materials, built-ins, flat screen TVs, new platform beds and, in the case of the Studio 6 and Estudio 6 brands, fully-stocked kitchens. The Motel 6 brand has connecting rooms for larger families.
Renew & Refresh the Motel 6 Style
New builds and renovations have been supported by the Blackstone Group, who purchased the brand in October 2012.
By the end of 2015, 75% of the G6 Hospitality group’s 1,200 owned and franchised properties in North America will have been renovated in the Phoenix style. And though Blackstone is not buying any more of the hotels themselves at this time, another 295 franchise properties have been added to the portfolio, with nearly 100 more in the pipeline.
G6 claims to have the industry’s highest average occupancy at 67%. “Revenue is up 26% in three years; the growth comes from a limited supply of inventory in the economy sector,” added Bill Stein, Senior Managing Director & Global Head Of Asset Management, Real Estate Group, Blackstone.
Motel 6 Goes Latino
Motel 6 has also committed to the Hispanic market, with expansion into Mexico, Ecuador, Bolivia and soon, Brazil and Colombia.
They’ve gone street smart too, with new motels coming to Long Island City and Brooklyn in New York by 2016.
What Do You Get & What Do You Pay at Motel 6?
None of the limited service economy G6 hotels have food or beverage facilities. Guests who want to pay for snacking have vending machines in the lobby.
WiFi is available for just $2.99 per day. Free coffee (176,000 cups each year) is served near reception from 6am to 10am daily.
Chain-wide, the average room rate is “in the mid-50s” according to Amorosia, and ranges from US$40.00 to US$100.00 depending on location and date.
Amorosia said that his guests “may represent the cross section of the United States, but they have frugality in common.” Because millennials are coming of age at a time of economic hardship, he added, G6 Hospitality is confident that their pledge to provide a “clean, comfortable room and great service at the lowest price of any national chain” will find a receptive audience.
And the motto that has defined the brand since 1986: “We’ll leave the light on for you,” is not receiving any makeovers.
For More Information on Motel 6
Families will find the new Motel 6 marketing campaign on radio and online through 2016. It’s quite a deal; bookings can be made on their site now. And if you don’t really believe in the Phoenix myth, here’s a look at their new TV commercial.
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