Cutting the grand opening ribbon on May 5 at the new 110-room Holiday Inn Express in Covington, Georgia were IHG Regional Director for Midscale Franchise Development William Watson, Royal Hotel Investments Chairman Navin Shah and Covington Mayor Ronnie Johnston.

A Holiday Inn Express owned and operated by Asian American owned Royal Hotel Investments is open in Covington, Georgia. It is one of the first new-build Holiday Inn Express properties in the country to feature the brand’s new Formula Blue design.

The 110-room, six-floor hotel, built at a cost of about $13 million, includes a business center, a fitness center, an outdoor swimming pool and a 1,000-square-foot flexible space meeting room. Under the Formula Blue concept, it also includes an open lobby and great room area for social, business or dining gatherings. The guest rooms feature re-designed case goods and a headboard that minimizes noise transfer between rooms.

Covington is about 35 miles east of Atlanta and has been the filming location for many movies and television shows, such as “The Walking Dead,” “The Vampire Diaries,” “Selma,” and “The Dukes of Hazzard.”

Atlanta-based Royal Hotel Investment, which was formed in 2002, owns and operates two Hampton Inn hotels in metro Atlanta – a 105-room property in Covington and a 99-room property in Conyers. The company also owns a shopping center in Covington and plans to add another two hotels within the next year.