|ARLINGTON, Va., August 12, 2004—BridgeStreet Worldwide, a leading international provider of corporate housing to business and leisure travelers, today announced that it has embarked on a new mission to “transform” the corporate housing experience. Over the next six to nine months, BridgeStreet will introduce a series of innovative programs under an umbrella theme, “Corporate Housing Made Easy,” that will streamline all aspects of the corporate housing stay, from initial quotation to post-visit billing.
“We are rethinking and reshaping the way corporate housing does business, with a goal of simplifying the process before, during and after a stay,” said H. Lee Curtis, BridgeStreet president. “We want to significantly upgrade older, and in some cases paper-oriented, systems commonly used by the industry today for reservations, billing and reporting. But with corporate housing’s complex tracking, pricing and contractual requirements, getting to a fully integrated, seamless, more efficient system is a challenge. Our goal is to extend the convenience of corporate housing throughout the guest experience and beyond, to the companies we serve. We believe our new approach will accomplish that and will revolutionize the way our industry does business.”
To achieve its goal, the company has harnessed the technology and support of its parent company, Interstate Hotels and Resorts (NYSE: IHR). BridgeStreet Worldwide’s “Made Easy” mission focuses on three primary initiatives:
“Response to our innovative BridgeStreet Concierge program set in motion our strategy to change the way our industry does business,” Curtis said. “We have spent a great deal of time planning and are in the final stages of beta-testing a number of other industry-first programs.
- Easy To Choose – BridgeStreet will offer efficient and easy-to-use booking and billing systems for its apartment accommodations at a full range of price options, in locations, globally, where guests need and want to be.
- Easy To Do Business With – BridgeStreet will provide access to customized account information and guest services tailored to client needs for short- or long-term visits, as well as a single point of contact. The brand is committed to building client relationships for the long term.
- Easy To Stay With – BridgeStreet guests already enjoy home-style accommodations and deluxe services like BridgeStreet Concierge, the industry’s first personal assistant program. Rapid responses to guests’ needs during pre-arrival, stay and departure will be further enhanced through BridgeStreet’s new technologies.
“Recently, for example, BridgeStreet launched OSCAR 6.0e, a central reservation system built specifically for the corporate housing industry. Through customization of the software, we have a powerful tool that is, at once, a platform for our growth and also streamlines our day-to-day operations. The launch of OSCAR, combined with integration of all our systems, are key elements in our plan to make corporate housing easy for clients and guests alike.
“Ultimately, we will introduce a complete suite of programs, ranging from innovative food and beverage delivery to simplified booking and tracking systems, that will dramatically reduce the time it takes to book and manage corporate housing for our clients—and for us,” he added. “A year from now the process to book and monitor corporate housing will be a few clicks away, online. Providing our corporate clients with the real-time data they need to manage business travel, long-term stays and relocations quickly and effortlessly is a top priority. Our new strategy is a dynamic process that will undergo constant evaluation and that will evolve as we find new and better ways to be the easiest company to do business with.”
BridgeStreet is a wholly owned subsidiary of Interstate Hotels & Resorts, the nation’s largest independent hotel management company. BridgeStreet and their network of Global Partners offer more than 8,500 corporate apartments located in 84 MSAs throughout the United States and internationally. BridgeStreet properties meet uncompromising standards of quality, comfort and service. BridgeStreet is headquartered in Arlington, Va. For more information or to learn more about how BridgeStreet is Making Corporate Housing Easy, visit www.bridgestreet.com.
This press release contains “forward-looking statements,” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, about Interstate Hotels & Resorts, including those statements regarding future operating results and the timing and composition of revenues, among others, and statements containing words such as "expects," "believes" or "will,” which indicate that those statements are forward-looking. Except for historical information, the matters discussed in this press release are forward-looking statements that are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause the actual results to differ materially, including the current slowdown of the national economy, economic conditions generally and the real estate market specifically, the impact of the events of September 11, 2001, governmental actions, legislative and regulatory changes, availability of debt and equity capital, interest rates, competition, supply and demand for lodging facilities in our current and proposed market areas, and the company’s ability to manage integration and growth. Additional risks are discussed in Interstate Hotels & Resorts’ filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including Interstate Hotels & Resorts’ annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2003.