Red Lion Hotels Corp. has relaunched its GuestHouse International brand as the upper-economy GuestHouse Extended Stay to cash in on the segment’s strong performance during the COVID-19 pandemic. Part of the new plan for GuestHouse is a redesign of the guestrooms, including dual-use tables for eating and/or work and more “soft seating” in each room.

LOOKING TO CASH in on the extended-stay segment’s resilience during the COVID-19, Red Lion Hotels Corp. has relaunched its GuestHouse International brand as the upper-economy GuestHouse Extended Stay. The refurbished brand will include streamlined housekeeping services, community-centric guest amenities and brand standards designed to maximize owner return on investment.

In an announcement during RLH Corp.’s virtual annual convention, John Russell, the company’s CEO cited the consistently high performance of the extended-stay segment as the reason for the relaunch. The demand comes from construction crews, essential workers, corporate training candidates and families with long-term medical treatments, Russell said.

“We had a major opportunity to transform our GuestHouse brand into an upper-economy extended stay model set up for future success due to the resilient nature of the segment,” he said.

GuestHouse Extended Stay is constructed to attract owners as well. Along with flexible property improvement plans and brand requirements, the brand will require only 10 percent of rooms to include full kitchenettes with the rest including mini kitchenettes to ease conversions from non-extended-stay properties. Owners also will be able to choose from modular guestroom upgrade options and lowered vendor pricing to minimize costs.

“Our designers work hand in glove with our operators to ensure that this product becomes a huge success with both owners and our guests,” said Harry Sladich, RLH Corp.’s executive vice president of lodging development. “We feel this segment will continue to do well as it’s under-represented in many markets. This new brand offering will add to the continued growth of our footprint, and I’m happy to say that we have several new-build deals underway.”

Along with the possible six new-build projects, there are 15 conversion projects in the pipeline in areas such as southeast Texas, Arizona, Florida and Washington state,

“We want to give hotels owners an opportunity to step out and differentiate themselves within their markets and be successful with an innovative, adaptable, and conversion-friendly extended stay model,” Sladich said.

The company plans to identify communities where extended-stay is underrepresented, particularly within major metropolitan areas, and to market to owners looking for increased market share and higher RevPAR.

Part of the new plan for GuestHouse is a redesign of the guestrooms, including dual-use tables for eating and/or work and more “soft seating” in each room. Each GuestHouse Extended Stay property will offer amenities such as complimentary bikes, board games, and blenders for guests and onsite gyms or passes to local gyms.

RLH Corp. acquired GuestHouse in 2015 from Boomerang Hotels along with the Settle Inn brand for $8.5 million.