Travel Q&A: Wyndham CEO Eric Danziger

I think companies (should) never be happy with the prototype that's there. There's no approach that's (going to be) at all hotels. In terms of the feel of hotels, I like (looking) at the locale, providing things that are indigenous and reflecting the area it's in. But retain some things that are standards, so people recognize as Wyndham. If I went to Savannah, it wouldn't be special to me if it looked like a room in San Francisco. I have a bias towards that.

What we ought to do is listen to what customers say about the Michael Graves prototype before I say it should go everywhere. My instinct says it'll have a place in the Wyndham brand where it belongs.

•Q: Analysts have said Wyndham brands have been inconsistent. Your thoughts?

This company (in its current structure) is only a couple of years old. The brand has been around for a while, but it has gone through nine foster homes. When you have foster parents and you're passed around like that, you don't have the caring, nurturing and maturation that you need.

Wyndham is an upper upscale brand. I believe that this is precisely what we will do — brand clarity in all 12 brands. I'd like to be able to define each brand in a few sentences.

•Q: What are some amenities and services that will be consistent at Wyndham Hotels?

Upper upscale hotels ought to be quiet, comfortable and clean. (They should) deliver good service and have adequate lighting. As for specific things that we may want to do at Wyndham, it's too early to have rolled those out.

•Q: What about some of your lower-tier brands, such as Howard Johnson and Travelodge?

I have incredibly strong feelings about some of those brands. These are legacy (brands). I drove with my dad and stopped at Howard Johnson. I'm very excited about reenergizing and refocusing on them. That they're iconic is something I'm going to be pushing heavily.

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