After announcing the expansion last year, the area occupied by the 13-story Holiday Inn will welcome a neighboring Staybridge Suites as workers broke ground on the project today.
The sister hotel, a six-story structure that will replace the existing two-story building on the site, will bring 125 new rooms to the property located at the northwest corner of Willow Street and Lakewood Boulevard, while also expanding the successful “dual-brand” hotel concept to Long Beach after the first dual-brand hotel, the Hampton Inn and Homewood Suites, opened at Douglas Park along Lakewood Blvd.
Facing competition from digital-based short-term rentals via Airbnb, the traditional hotel industry has been forced to face hard choices in order to streamline costs—and that has included combining multiple concepts under one roof. It then expands customer choice and comfort: Each brand gets to provide its amenities while cutting down on back-of-house costs like housekeeping. A new fitness center, outdoor pool, two-story parking structure and landscape improvements are also included in the project.
UK-based InterContinental Hotels Group owns both the Holiday Inn and Staybridge Suites brands and is no stranger to dual-branding. One of its more high-profile dual-brand concepts—the largest in the group’s collection—broke ground in Poland for a 430-room building that will have Holiday Inn occupying the first 10 floors and a Crowne Plaza occupying floors 11 through 21.
With the Long Beach project, the convention and meeting space operated by Holiday Inn on the property will expand by nearly 2,500 sq. ft.—which also means it can now expand its conference sizes in both attendance capacity and footprint, while also giving visitors the chance to experience differing overnight stays and experiences on the property.
Add onto this the recent renovation of the mid-century modern circular tower—particularly the addition of Vue, the top-floor restaurant and bar that has garnered a reputation as a solid dining space thanks to the work of Chef Thomas Vertl (much needed on the Eastside)—and its stone’s-throw distance from the airport and East Long Beach could see a flurry of new conference and convention activity to boost the local economy.
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