IHG spokesman Stephen Boggs said all of the 125 existing hotelsare in the Americas division, which includes the US, Canada,Brazil, Mexico, Latin America, Central America and South America .He tells GlobeSt.com that IHG has 157 Staybridge hotels in itsglobal development pipeline, including the 147 in the Americasdivision. Boggs says that as of the end of 2007, the developmentpipeline includes eight hotels in the United Kingdom and two in theUnited Arab Emirates. Those properties are under the auspices ofIHG's Europe, Middle East and Africa divisions.Staybridge Suitesnormally have fewer than 150 rooms, with development costsaveraging $100,000 per key, compared to Candlewood Suites, IHG'ssecond-tier, upper-end extended stay product, which averages$75,000 per room. Radomski says it takes about two years from thetime a potential market ripe for IHG's Staybridge brand isidentified, the right franchisee is found, the developer selectedand financing placed, before a property opens.

Extended stay is one segment that investors and lenders areattracted to because even in economic downturns, it tends toperform well. The demand dictates the growth. "It's the extendedstay military, or medical, such as nurses and specialty doctors,corporate training and (corporate) relocations'' that fuels demand,says Radomski. "Our projections are that financing (extended stay)will go on for years. Some times this travel is necessary traveleven if there's an economic downturn. Historically, during slowereconomic periods, extend stay has done extremely well…partlybecause of the needs of the extended-stay business traveler.''Asthe credit crisis spreads into retail, office and other sectors,Radomski insists investors and lenders are out there for theextended-stay segment. "We're not seeing any kind of slowdownnecessarily affecting out pace of development. Investors are outthere. We're not seeing projects fall to the wayside due to thecredit issue. Before we approve a (franchise) license, the creditand financing is already secured.''

The Staybridge luxury brand has grown rapidly since the firstwas opened in 1989 in Alpharetta, GA, and Radomski believes it's arecord-breaking pace in new brand expansion. "We were first at 50,first at 100 hotels and now first at 125.''The 125th property is a$9 million hotel with 84 suites in Fort Wayne, IN, the firstStaybridge in that market, but the eighth IGH property, counting aCandlewood Suites and six Holiday Inn Express hotels in or near thecity.

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