Coast Hotels Limited, a fully owned subsidiary of APA Hotel Canada, Inc. and one of Canada’s largest hotel brands, recently announced that it has acquired a master franchise agreement inclusive of all existing franchised hotels from Coast Hotels USA, LLC. Operating as Coast Hotels USA, Inc., the company aims to achieve significant growth through a combination of new franchise and hotel management contracts, mergers, and acquisitions, along with the purchase of hotel real estate, particularly throughout the West Coast. The U.S. expansion plan represents the latest phase of Coast Hotels’ growth strategy. Last year, the company added five hotels to its portfolio, including the acquisition and conversion of the Regency Suites Hotel to the Coast Calgary Downtown Hotel & Suites by APA.
“Our plans for the USA expansion represent one of the most important milestones in our 50-year history as a hospitality company,” said Coast Hotels President Jin Sasaki in a press statement. “The opportunity to focus on USA’s most dynamic destinations and introduce our unique, localized approach and our unmatched dedication to our guests will present outstanding opportunities for expansion.”
Brigitte Diem-Guy, the company’s vice president, revenue strategies & communication, specified that the company “aims for 10,000 guestrooms in North America within the next five years, which will also more than triple the number of Coast Rewards members.” She added, “Our expansion plans are not necessarily limited to West Coast opportunities. There are other key destinations in Canada and the USA that, based on economic data and demand generators, are target areas for us.”
In a recent discussion with LODGING, Diem-Guy provided further detail on the expansion plan and brand’s value proposition to both guests and owners.
What factors have enabled or motivated the U.S. expansion at this point in Coast Hotels’ history?
Coast Hotels’ strategic business plan is to achieve substantial growth throughout North America, Canada, and the United States, as part of the international expansion plans of our ownership, APA Hotels. The expansion will allow us to strengthen our business and gain greater market dominance, higher competitive positioning, greater sustainability and resilience in the market, and the ability to mitigate commercial risks through diversification.
We see great opportunity for growth in the U.S. market to advance our exponential growth strategy as the hospitality industry continues its recovery from the global pandemic.
Are there particular West Coast markets that look especially promising?
One key area identified is the Seattle-Portland corridor based on the advanced planning work on the proposed Cascadia high-speed rail passenger service, linking Vancouver, Seattle, and Portland. If completed by 2035, this service would see 2.1 million annual riders upon opening, with ridership growing exponentially. Considering the increased demand that this future rail service will drive, it is a good strategy for us to have hotels in these key cities.
Could you elaborate on the “unique, localized approach” that serves to distinguish your properties?
Our competitive advantage is that today’s travelers are gravitating toward unique lodging accommodations and local experiences, but since the pandemic, they also seek safety and cleanliness, exceptional value, and a very high level of guest service.
We pride ourselves on turning the standard hotel brand concept on its head with our localized approach and creating Refreshingly Local experiences that are authentic, unique, and reflective of the destinations in which we’re located—whether that destination is in the middle of a city or on the side of a mountain. This is reflected in our portfolio of hotels. Our properties are not characterless “boxes,” and they are anything but cookie-cutter; they are as unique as their locations. However, what each property does have in common is exceptional value and an unmatched dedication to our guests with a high level of guest service.
How would you describe the brand’s value proposition to potential franchisees?
We offer a distinct owner-focused approach. Our Brand Touch Points ensure consistent guest experiences building on the personality of each hotel.
The Coast Hotels team are experienced leaders with a wealth of hospitality and specialized experience. We consistently strive for new and innovative ways to drive business to Coast Hotels properties, researching and employing the most current tools, technologies, and services to attract guests, cultivate repeat business, and stimulate customer loyalty.
Because we’re owners too, we have a responsive model that ensures franchisees’ hotels have access to the right tools to maximize revenues, profitability, and market share. We pride ourselves in being flexible and collaborative with our owners because each hotel is truly unique, with different needs.