ATLANTA, May 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) [LON: IHG, NYSE: IHG (ADRs)], one of the world's leading hotel companies, announces plans to expand its portfolio of IHG Army Hotels and celebrates its sustained commitment to serving our military and communities through hospitality. IHG is the exclusive hotel manager and operator of on-post lodging under the Department of the Army's Privatization of Army Lodging (PAL) program, and will add 18 U.S. Military installations to its portfolio. In total, there will be 76 hotels and more than 11,000 guest rooms on 39 U.S. Military installations upon completion of this third phase of the PAL program."We are honored to have been selected as a partner in the PAL program and hold the unique position in the hotel industry to serve this special group of guests, who have committed their lives to service and sacrifice for their country," said Kirk Kinsell, president, the Americas, IHG. "Through IHG Army Hotels, and the well-recognized Holiday Inn Express®, Candlewood Suites® and Staybridge Suites® brands, we are able to deliver on-post the consistent, high-quality stay experiences which guests around the world have come to trust and expect from the IHG family of hotel brands."The PAL program joins together IHG with the U.S. Army and Lend Lease, the nation's leader in public/private community development, as the exclusive asset manager, developer and design builder to deliver improved guest service and quality of on-post lodging for Service Members, their families and all government travelers. Guests staying with IHG Army Hotels will enjoy complimentary breakfast, weekly social activities and courtesy shuttle transportation. The HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS brand, well-known as the smart choice for savvy, value-conscious travelers, is an offering that IHG will use for existing lodging facilities being converted or retro-fit under the PAL program. Soon, IHG will introduce its all-suite, extended stay CANDLEWOOD SUITES and STAYBRIDGE SUITES brands that will offer a residential-style hotel with fully equipped kitchens and comfortable common areas.
"We are privileged to partner with the U.S. Army and Lend Lease on the PAL program to deliver IHG Army Hotels, which continues IHG's heritage of innovative firsts in the hospitality industry. We have built our expertise, and inspired the loyalty of millions of guests, through the management and operation of strong hotel brands that continuously adapt to meet the evolving needs of diverse guests," said Arthur Holst, vice president, Operations – IHG Army Hotels. IHG's global portfolio of nine hotel brands includes more than 4,600 hotels, which are brought to life by talented people committed to a winning service culture. With the growth of the IHG Army Hotels portfolio, IHG now directly employs nearly 1,800 people at on-post lodging facilities in hospitality management and staff positions. And, the continued growth of IHG's global estate – with approximately 1,053 hotels in the development pipeline – creates a need to fill 90,000 new job positions worldwide over the next few years. "We provide more than comfortable and safe lodging on-post. As a leading employer, we have the ability to create economic opportunity for people in the communities where we operate. We hire, train and cultivate talented employees empowered with skills to succeed in the hospitality industry," added Holst.
IHG operates in nearly 100 countries and territories, including the 24 U.S. states and territories where IHG Army Hotels are located. This allows the people of IHG to impact their communities positively through IHG-led programs and by supporting other organizations with aligned values, including the IHG® Academy Program, which is actively exploring options to raise awareness of hospitality careers among veterans and enhance their employment prospects through skills training, the Fisher House Foundation which donates "comfort homes" to families whose loved ones are being treated at far-away military medical centers – since the launch of the PAL program about $200,000 has been raised to support local Fisher House programs located near IHG Army Hotels, and Soldiers to Summits (S2S) non-profit – a No Barriers USA program – that helps wounded service men and women overcome personal barriers.