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International group now over Army lodging

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POSTED: May 13, 2013 9:32 a.m.

One of the world’s largest hotel companies now is managing 76 Army lodging hotels on 39 installations, including Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield, according to Arthur Holst, vice president of operations for Intercontinental Hotels Group.
Holst said IHG is the exclusive operator of on-post lodging under the Department of the Army’s Privatization of Army Lodging program. IHG has more than 4,600 hotels under nine hotel brands, he said. It recently added 18 installations to its hotels, including Stewart and Hunter. These Army lodges will be managed under its Holiday Inn Express brand, he said. IHG employs about 1,800 people in hospitality management and staff positions at its on-post lodgings.
“We are focused on delivering improved guest service and advancing the quality of on-post lodging for service members, their families and government travelers,” Holst said. “The hotels will also be going through renovations and upgrades to bring them up to the same quality standards IHG requires for off-post hotels that carry one of IHG’s seven hotel brands.”
According to Fort Stewart’s website, Army lodging hotels are provided especially for service members and their families when they arrive at or prepare to depart an installation as part of their official permanent-duty or temporary-duty assignment. Military and government leisure travelers also may use Army lodging, which includes double and single rooms and distinguished visitors’ quarters. Rooms contain kitchenettes, microwaves, and cooking and dining ware.
Stewart Army lodging is located within walking distance to Club Stewart, the commissary, Post Exchange and Woodruff movie theater.
“Services and amenities immediately available to all guests at IHG Army hotel locations include complimentary breakfast, weekly social activities and courtesy shuttles providing on-post transportation,” Holst said, explaining that the Privatization of Army Lodging program is operated as a partnership with the Army and Lend Lease, an international property and infrastructure group, as well as the installation-asset manager, developer and design builder for the properties.
Holst said IHG also plans to roll out its extended-stay hotel brands as part of the program, including Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites. This expansion is one of several programs supported by IHG that assists the country’s military and their families, he said.
Guests staying at IHG-managed Army hotels are eligible to earn points for their hotel stay in IHG’s loyalty program, Priority Club Rewards, which will be renamed IHG(R) Rewards Club in July. To date, Holst said on-post guests already have been awarded 450 million Priority Club Rewards points that are redeemable for future stays with IHG Army hotels or any IHG-branded hotel worldwide.
Holst said IHG operates in nearly 100 countries and territories, including 24 U.S. states and territories. He said IHG also is exploring ways to raise awareness of hospitality careers among veterans and enhance their employment prospects through skills training.

 

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