IHG breaks ground on its first Avid hotel in Oklahoma
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has broken ground on its first Avid hotel, just two months after the new midscale brand was launched.
The Avid Hotel will be owned by Champion Hotels, the developer which also opened the first Tru by Hilton location in Oklahoma City this year.
Champion Hotels describes itself as the “largest privately held operator in the United States, with over 150 franchised locations.”
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Located in Oklahoma City, the four-story, new-build property is expected to open during the third quarter of next year, with 87 rooms for guests.
Since launching the brand, IHG says that developer demand is high with more than 100 franchise applications received, including 34 across the US which have already been converted to signed deals.
IHG says that the brand is also now ready for franchise in Canada.
"Momentum is continuing and building," said Elie Maalouf, CEO for the Americas at IHG.
“The brand's appeal to owners and developers clearly demonstrates IHG is trusted to identify and deliver a new midscale hotel brand that is right for guests and owners.
“Avid hotels is scaling rapidly, and is scheduled to open its first hotel by the end of summer 2018 – months ahead of original projections."
The midscale market, which Maalouf described as “underserved” is worth an estimated US$20bn, according to IHG.
The new brand is expected to have a rate that is around US$10-$15 less per night than IHG’s Holiday Inn Express brand.
All Avid hotels will feature an open, airy entry; communal spaces for guests to relax, work, connect and eat; guest rooms sound-reducing features, a dedicated workspace and ample storage space.
"We designed Avid hotels to reach an important set of business and leisure travellers in an underserved $20 billion segment of the U.S. midscale market,” added Maalouf.
“Owners are enthusiastic and Champion Hotels, with its distinguished reputation as a best-in-class hotel operator, is an ideal first developer for this new hotel brand."
Masdar, PT PLN begin work on floating PV solar project
UAE-based renewable energy company Masdar, in partnership with PT PLN, an organisation specialising in electrical power and owned by the Indonesian government, has announced today it has started work on a floating photovoltaic (PV) solar project in West Java. The company says the 145MW plant is the first of its kind in the country. The project, which will be constructed on the Cirata reservoir in West Java, was financed by the Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Societe Generale, and Standard Chartered Bank.
Developing the project is PT Pembangkitan Jawa Bali Masdar Solar Energi (PMSE), a joint venture between Masdar and PT PLN subsidiary PT PJBI. Bahlil Lahadalia, Minister of Investment for the Republic of Indonesia and chairman of the Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board, said: “This is a flagship project of the UAE’s investment in Indonesia, and most importantly, it is in line with the Indonesian Government’s target to increase renewable energy by 23% by 2025.”
Ladhadalia added: “The Ministry of Investment fully supports the investment realisation of the Cirata Floating Solar Project by PT PJBI and Masdar.” The plant is said to be the largest in south-east Asia, and one of the biggest in the world. Around 800 jobs will be created during its construction phase.
During the project’s development, Masdar has conducted several social initiatives to raise awareness of sustainability and strengthen the engagement of the local community. Talking about the partnership with Masdar, Amir Faisal, president director of PJBI, said: “We see tremendous potential for similar projects in Indonesia and we look forward to continuing our fruitful collaboration with Masdar to work on more renewable energy projects and help our nation achieve its clean energy objectives.
“This floating power project is a first for Indonesia and is also a significant step in PJBI’s renewable energy journey,” he added.
Facts about solar energy
- Solar power is the most abundant energy source on earth: There’s enough solar energy reaching the earth every hour to meet all of humanity’s power needs for a whole year.
- The cost of solar panels has fallen by 99% since 1977: The price per watt for a single solar cell in 1977 was US$77. Today that same cell costs Us$0.21 per watt US$0.39 per watt for an assembled module, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.
- China is the global leader in solar energy: Whilst solar power is increasing in popularity in the US, China is currently the country with the biggest uptake. Research conducted by GTM in 2017 predicted that the US would install 12.4GW of solar power during that year. China, on the other hand, installed 24.4GW of power in the first half of 2017 alone.