Briad focuses on the extended-stay lodging sector - hotels where the average stay is five to seven nights. With business travelers very mindful of value these days, this sector has maintained its occupancy levels while some in the full-service sector have experienced declines. In choosing sites, Briad's development team looks for nearby businesses and institutions that attract people for extended periods; companies involved in research, new product development, training, and so forth.
Speaking about the addition of Hilton brands to the Briad lodging mix, Steve says, "We explored the Hilton Homewood Suites and Hilton Gardens brands when certain Marriott brands were unavailable in markets where we wanted to build. Our preferred product type is one where you can cook in the room, but some communities do not want that kind of property, so we have brands such as the Hilton Gardens and Courtyard by Marriott, which have some in-room facilities but also operate an on-property restaurant. Selecting a property type that will enable the deal to make sense for Briad is all part of the development team's job.
With four properties opened in 2002, Briad has two properties slated to open in 2003. The Courtyard in Lebanon, NJ is under construction and will open during the second quarter of the year. Briad's first Hilton hotel, the Westbury, NY Hilton Garden Inn, is scheduled to open toward the end of 2003.
In addition to outstanding brands, Briad's Lodging Group is now working with a company Steve describes as, "an excellent third-party management company that runs over 450 hotels. Steve concludes, "We've got great brands and great locations in great markets. We've got good people out there; we've hired top sales and general managers who know the markets they're going into. Everything is in place for this effort to be a resounding success."
We'll be reporting on Briad's development plans and on its individual lodging properties in future issues of VISION. – less–ZoomInfo