Both establishments will be integrated into Rezidor SAS's Park Inn Group and operate in the near future under this brand. During the next few months, Rezidor SAS and Urs Hammer (56), who was the creative force behind the idea of the Golden Arch Hotels, will explore the possibility of developing an international chain of Golden Arch Hotels positioned in the “budget hotel” segment.
In spring 2001, the Zurich-based Golden Arch Hotel became the world's first McDonald's hotel. This innovative hotel concept attracted worldwide public attention. Initial experience gained with both prototypes – the second Golden Arch Hotel was opened in Lully, Fribourg in 2001 – has further demonstrated the attractive potential of this concept in the “budget” hotel sector which is expected to have the greatest growth in the hotel industry in the next several years.
The Rezidor SAS Group and Urs Hammer are therefore exploring a business model for international development of the Golden Arch concept in this category of economically-priced budget hotels.
Rezidor SAS is assuming management of the two existing Golden Arch Hotels in Switzerland as an initial step in the implementation of this forward-looking strategy. The internationally successful Scandinavian hotel enterprise will integrate both hotels into its Park Inn Group and in the future operate and market them worldwide under this brand.
“The Golden Arch Hotels fit perfectly into our brand portfolio,” said Kurt Ritter, President and Chief Executive Officer of Rezidor SAS Hospitality.
Ritter justifies his interest in the original Golden Arch Hotels brand by saying, “This brand can enable us to capture an extremely strong position in the budget-convenience hotel sector.”
Swiss-native Kurt Ritter (56) was last year awarded the title “Corporate Hotelier of the World.” In the past nine years, he has built the former SAS International Hotels (SIH) into one of the leading hospitality management enterprises in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. To Rezidor SAS also belong the brands Radisson SAS, Regent, Country Inn and Park Inn and the recently acquired Cerruti Lifestyle Hotels. In total, more than 200 hotels are currently under the umbrella of Rezidor SAS. In the next 10 years, this number is to be increased to more than 700. Rezidor SAS is wholly-owned by the SAS group.
“With its expertise in hotel marketing and global reservation network, Rezidor SAS is the ideal company to further develop and internationalize the Golden Arch concept,” said Urs Hammer, Chairman of the Executive Board of Golden Arch Hotels Switzerland, Ltd. Both Urs Hammer and Kurt Ritter are graduates of the Hotel Management School in Lausanne.