On Monday 8th December 2014, the Olde Barn Hotel re-launched after buying into Wyndham Hotel Group’s Garden Brand franchise. Each month this blog will expand on the group and the brand franchise, and highlight any offers in the Wyndham Rewards scheme.
To start, a potted history of this huge American Hotel Owner and Operator, and a look at their brand families that have presence in all continents in the world.
Wyndham Hotel Corporation was founded in 1981 in Dallas, Texas, USA, by Trammell Crow, president of Trammel Crow Company (TCC). The company appears to have been named after a friend of Crow’s, a woman named Wyndham Robertson, who wrote a profile of him for Fortune magazine. As it grew, it eventually merged with Patriot American Hospitality (PAH). Patriot owned the real estate assets and leased the hotels to Wyndham to run.
In the late 1990s, the company acquired multiple portfolios of hotels and renaming them Wyndhams. In 1998, in an effort to build an upscale limited-service brand, the company acquired the Summerfield Hotel Corporation and renamed it ”’Summerfield Suites by Wyndham”’. Wyndham Garden Hotels, (the hotel’s brand),are smaller properties, usually full-service, that are located in suburban or airport locations.
However, the company’s rapid growth drained cash and the firm was unable to continue to grow on its own. In March, 1999, the group agreed to a $1 billion restructuring when a consortium of private equity firms, including Thomas H. Lee Partners and Apollo Real Estate Advisors, assumed control of the company. They renamed it ”’Wyndham International”’. The company’s paired share status with PAH was dropped, and Wyndham International re-emerged as a corporation.
From 1999 to 2004, the firm struggled to pay down debt and was forced to sell off many of the hotels it had acquired in the late 1990s, often at a deep discount in an industry still suffering from the effects of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The effort to expand the ”’Grand Bay Hotels & Resorts”’ high brow brand was cancelled, and the brand’s franchised limited-service offerings, ”’Summerfield Suites”’ and Wyndham Garden Hotels, continued to lose units as hotels converted out of the system. Many of the Summerfield Suites hotels were sold to the Intercontinental Hotels Group and were converted to Staybridge Suites hotels. In June, 2005, Wyndham International was acquired by affiliates of the Blackstone Group, for $3.24 billion, selling many of its hotels to Goldman Sachs Group and Columbia Sussex. Blackstone rebranded most of the remaining assets as ”’LXR Luxury Resorts”’ and sold the Wyndham and Wyndham Garden Hotel brands to Cendant.
On August 1, 2006, all Cendant hotel brands became part of Wyndham Worldwide. Wyndham Worldwide consists of the following brands of hotels: Baymont Inn & Suites, Days Inn, Howard Johnson’s, Knights Inn, Microtel, Ramada, Super 8 Worldwide|Super 8, Travelodge, Wyndham, Wyndham Garden Hotels, Hawthorn Suites, and Wingate by Wyndham. Besides hotels, the company also operates Wyndham Vacation Resorts, WorldMark by Wyndham time share resorts and in 2013, Wyndham Worldwide acquired Shell Vacations Club for $102 million.