Elie Maalouf, left, CEO of The Americas, InterContinental Hotels Group, and Champak Patel, founder and CEO of Champion Hotels of Oklahoma City, celebrate the groundbreaking for the first Avid Hotel in the U.S. at Quail Springs, a suburb of Oklahoma City. IHG launched the midscale brand in September.

CHAMPION HOTELS OF Oklahoma City on Dec. 6 broke ground on an Avid Hotel by InterContinental Hotels Group.

The hotel company headed by founder Champak Patel is the first developer in the U.S. to begin building the new midscale brand launched in September.

Projected to open in the third quarter of 2018, the four-story 87-room hotel is going up in an Oklahoma City suburb called Quail Springs.

The title of first is not new to Champion Hotels. It May it was the first hotel developer to open a Tru by Hilton, a midscale brand rolled out in January 2016. The Tru is near the Will Rogers International Airport in Oklahoma City.

IHG said Champion Hotels’ commitment to build an Avid puts the franchiser’s plans ahead of schedule. So far, 100 franchise applications have been received. Of those 34 have been signed. “Avid Hotels is scaling rapidly,” said Elie Maalouf, CEO, The Americas, IHG.

Champion Hotels is the largest private hotel developer, owner and operator in the U.S. with more than 160 properties, including many IHG brands. Champ Patel is a member of the Avid Hotels owner advisory board, which helped with the brand’s development. “We have witnessed first-hand the speed and expertise IHG has demonstrated in developing this brand that will be efficient to build, operate and maintain while delivering a much-needed and differentiated experience for travelers in the midscale segment,” he said in a statement.

The Oklahoma City-Quail Springs property going up at 138th Street and Joel McDonald Drive, will serve a thriving area of suburban Oklahoma City. Nearby businesses include Gulfport Energy Corp., Hertz Corp. and Mercy Heart Hospital. Across the street is the Quail Springs Mall. Also nearby are a variety of restaurants and family entertainment venues.

“We designed Avid Hotels to reach an important set of business and leisure travelers in an underserved $20 billion segment of the U.S. midscale market,” Maalouf said. “Owners are enthusiastic, and Champion Hotels, with its distinguished reputation as a best-in-class hotel operator, is an ideal first developer.”

Avid’s royalty fee is 5 percent, with the first 100 signed license agreements eligible for a 2 percent discount in year one and 1 percent discount in year two.