Phil Cordell, SVP of brand management for Hampton, says theeconomy brand has had an incredibly strong pipeline of 150 newproperties per year across the globe. "In the UK, we believe we canrise above the competitors, specifically Premier Travel Inn andExpress Holiday Inn," he says.

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Sixty percent of new hotel growth has been with this type ofhotel, Cordell says. "These new properties in the UK will allow usto be more formidable. They're going to be much more flexible, suchas a smaller but more efficient guest room, a more inviting lobby,streamlined dining options and amenities such as free breakfast andWiFi," he says.

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It's harder to get big enough properties for the Hampton hotelsin the UK, as land is much more expensive than in the US,necessitating a smaller-room property, he says. However, Cordellsays the benefits to building in the UK includes financing optionssimilar to the US. The partnership is the third in a series ofmergers that will allow Hilton to open about 70 Hampton brandhotels on an international scale in the next five years, including15 properties with 2,500 rooms to Turkey. The first Hampton brokeground this month in Corby North, UK, with an opening expected in2009.

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