Ascend Hotel Collection Welcomes 6 New Properties
- May 10, 2017
Ascend Hotel Collection, launched in 2008 by Choice Hotels International as the first major soft brand collection in the U.S., recently experienced quite a growth spurt. In April, six properties joined the collection, adding more than 500 guestrooms across the country.
As described by hotel data and analytics company STR Global, soft brand is a collection of hotels that allows owners and operators to affiliate with a major chain while retaining their unique name, design and orientation. “The Ascend hotel collection enables independent hoteliers to plug into our industry-leading technology, robust distribution channels, and rapidly expanding royalty program. It’s a win-win for them and for Choice,” Steve Joyce, president and CEO of Choice Hotels International, said during the company’s fourth quarter 2016 earnings call in February 16.
The new members of the global Ascend portfolio of distinctive boutique independent hotels and resorts include the 79-key The LOOK Red Hook in Brooklyn, N.Y., and the 101-key enVision Hotel Boston-Everett, a vintage-inspired property that was converted from a former shoe and garment factory in Everett, Mass. Two of the newest Ascend flags are located in Pennsylvania: The Solstice Erie, a 74-key hotel near Splash Lagoon Waterpark in Erie; and the Allentown Park Hotel near Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom in Allentown which, with 125 rooms, is the largest of the six new additions. In the Southwest, Ascend welcomed the 78-key Hotel at Sunland Park Casino in Sunland Park, N.M. And rounding out the group is Gold Miners Inn, a pet-friendly property featuring 90 keys in Grass Valley, Calif., in the Sierra Foothills of the Golden State.
Ascend plans to keep up the pace; the brand will open a total of 44 properties this year. Presently there are more than 170 Ascend lodging destinations operating across the globe.
Soft brand hotels are on the upswing across the U.S. According to a report by hotel consulting firm The Highland Group, soft brand collections grew at a compound annual average rate of 23 percent from 2000 through 2016, leaving in their dust independent boutique hotels and lifestyle hotels, which grew at a respective rate of 6 percent and 14 percent.