Magnuson Hotels makes renewed play for UK conversions

Magnuson - The Hollies Hotel

Magnuson Hotels has relaunched in the UK with a pitch to cut costs for hotels buffeted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The franchise specialist, which is headquartered in London and has more than 65,000 hotels in its booking system worldwide, made its first foray into the country in 2010.
It came close to relaunching in the UK last year, holding discussions with some Travelodge landlords, but ultimately decided to hold back.

“We had some interesting conversations with owners, but it was the wrong time in the pandemic for people to switch. With no guests and no clear idea of when business would resume, Travelodge landlords were reluctant to make a change,” Magnuson Hotels CEO Thomas Magnuson said.

Magnuson’s pitch includes the claim that it is the only global brand that doesn’t require property improvement plans (PIPs), just a minimum review score of 3.2 to 3.5.

“What we generally do is convert properties from an incorrectly positioned and under-priced rate range to a midscale or upper-midscale product, earning another £15 to £20 of average rate. This is accomplished without a PIP, just a highly supported strategy to leverage the owner’s existing operation,” Magnuson said.

Magnuson Hotels was founded in 2003 by husband-and-wife team Thomas and Melissa Magnuson. Around 50% of its business typically comes direct with 30% through OTAs and 20% through the GDS.