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Wyndham adds WaterWalk as third extended-stay brand

by | Apr 8, 2024 | Hotel Industry News, Hotel News

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts is launching its 25th brand through a new partnership with extended-stay company WaterWalk. The deal adds 11 hotels and more than 1,500 rooms to the Wyndham ecosystem, reflagging them under the newly-created upscale WaterWalk Extended Stay by Wyndham brand. “In the last year, guest demand for the extended-stay segment reached record highs, which has been underscored by demand from owners and developers looking for new opportunities to partner with Wyndham,” Chip Ohlsson, chief development officer at Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, said in a statement. “Our vision is to offer the industry’s most robust portfolio of extended-stay brands and the addition of WaterWalk marks an important step in that direction—helping ensure we have an offering in every segment, for every owner and for every guest. WaterWalk is Wyndham’s third extended-stay brand, joining ECHO Suites Extended Stay by Wyndham and Hawthorn Extended Stay by Wyndham. ECHO Suites launched in 2022 and has more than 265 economy new-construction hotels in its development pipeline, six of which are nearing completion. Last year, the Hawthorn brand reported 30 percent growth in its midscale conversion and new-construction development pipeline.

The WaterWalk Model

WaterWalk was founded in 2014 by the late Jack DeBoer, an extended-stay pioneer who created some of the segment’s most well-known brands, including Residence Inn (acquired by Marriott International in 1987) and Candlewood Suites (acquired by IHG in 2004). WaterWalk is now overseen by DeBoer’s granddaughter Mimi Oliver as the company’s CEO. “WaterWalk’s success is the culmination of decades of experience in extended stay combined with a relentless pursuit for driving innovation and delivering exceptional guest experiences,” Oliver said. “We believe WaterWalk is our best brand yet and our decision to bring it into the Wyndham portfolio is a pivotal moment in its evolution, one we believe will lead to enhanced efficiencies, performance and growth.” The brand’s hotels have both furnished Stay units and unfurnished Live units for longer-term guests who want to bring their own furnishings and decor. Units can transform and adapt in real-time to market and customer needs. WaterWalk’s current portfolio consists of 11 hotels throughout the U.S. Newer hotels leverage the brand’s Gen 2.0 prototype. The hotels will be in key markets like Tucson, Ariz.; Jacksonville, Fla.; and Wichita, Kan. The Wyndham team expects the addition of WaterWalk to help the company and its franchisee partners capitalize on the historical infrastructure spend in the U.S., what’s believed to be about a $3.3 billion opportunity in additional room revenue. Earlier this year, Wyndham partnered with sbe to launch a new lifestyle brand under the working name Project HQ Hotels & Residences.

Written by: Jena Tesse Fox

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