IHG to 300 Holiday Inns: put up or shut up

The message is clear: shape up or ship out.Up to 300 Holiday Inn hotels could be booted from the brand if their owners don’t get their respective acts together. Intercontinentals Hotel Group has told them they need to get on board with an enormous improvement plan by February 1, 2010.

Does 300 sound like a lot? It is. In fact, it’s 12% of the 3,300 hotels that fly the Holiday Inn flag. The holdouts haven’t begun to play ball with the brand’s requirements, which include new bedding, pillows and towels — not to mention modern music, a renovated lobby and green uplighting on the exterior. The total package is expected to cost around $1 billion.

Kevin Kowalski, brand chief for Holiday Inn, made clear how flexible the mother ship is willing to be: “We’re not changing the timing.” So, he told the owners of these 300 hotels, “If you have a quality problem, fix it.” Not doing so by the deadline will garner the hotel owners failure letters. Sound relatively harmless? Their banks will get them, too, which could trigger some hefty consequences.

[Photo by curioustraveller99 via Flickr]