Social has come a long way, baby! Hotels are looking to hop on the social band wagon, giving guests things like a great business center, and free WIFI. Throwing bones at consumers like that is great, however, after being in Atlanta last week helping launch Holiday Inn’s new social hub, I’ve yet to find any other brand taking on social in this way.

Talking travel and of course my other passion, Twitter to 31 TV and radio stations across the US was fantastic, but spending three days to experience The Hub was even better. The staff was great, food and bar scene hip and fun, and media center where I could plug in and get connected to the real world at the same time feeling like I was in someone’s living room– comfortable and relaxing. A place that actually got me out of my room, which I always have to be in a room to get connected and or a business center. The Hub awarded me the opportunity to socialize, dine and be connected. The Hub did what it’s supposed to do– I ended up spending most of my time there.

To Go Cafe 1

When I was initially asked to help Holiday Inn launch The Hub, I really had a hard time visualizing a space that had all the aspects I needed–things like plugs to recharge my computer, a gaming space, dining complete with hipster bar, and the extra perk– an outdoor space with cabanas and a fire pit!

All True! It’s there. I saw it all with my own eyes.

What was the most exciting aspect of the trip was walking through the doors for the first time of a newly stylized social area, and seeing all the massive changes (including the 1 billion dollar world wide renovations) the hotel brand is making. The social space literally gave me chills down my spine- it was that good!

With all my travels, I check out A LOT of hotels from one star- to six stars, reviewing them for the likes of media outlets like Access Hollywood! But, I can tell you after experiencing this new idea of socializing, Holiday Inn is setting the bar in how we connect both online and off. In fact, I will set a wager that other brands will take note and proceed in this next hospitality social trend.

Media Lounge

I’ve included some photos and a press release (below). Make sure you like their Facebook/holidayinnhotels page and share your story- they’re doing a really cool sweepstakes that will bring you to the first ever social hub and giving prizes like a free iPad and more. You’re gonna love it!

Innovative and Iconic Brand Marks Launch of The Hub at Holiday Inn


ATLANTA (August 3, 2011) – In today’s world, people are staying connected in myriad ways – in person, by phone, online via social channels – and all the while, sharing experiences with one another through their stories. The Holiday

egame center

Inn brand understands the importance of personal connections and the value in stories shared with business colleagues, friends, family or even someone you’ve never met before. With that in mind, beginning today through Sept. 14, 2011 the Holiday Inn brand is launching Stay Social and asking consumers across the country to share their favorite travel stories on its Holiday Inn Facebook page. The initiative celebrates the official launch of The Hub at Holiday Inn, a new guest environment where travelers can easily fill up, unwind and have a little fun, all while connecting with each other.


“We know the Holiday Inn guest is social and enjoys interacting with others,” said Verchele Wiggins, vice president global brand management, Holiday Inn Family of Brands. “In keeping with the philosophy of doing things ‘on the guests’ terms, we designed The Hub at Holiday Inn to be an innovative and open space where travelers can connect with others as well as eat, drink, relax, work or just have fun. The Hub at Holiday Inn is all about bringing good things together.”Restaurant

Stay Social

To kick off Stay Social, Holiday Inn is proud to sponsor StoryCorps®, the national nonprofit organization that provides Americans the opportunity to record, share, and preserve their stories. StoryCorps is one of the largest oral history projects of its kind. The brand tapped C. Kemmons Wilson, Jr. and McLean Wilson, the son and grandson, respectively, of Holiday Inn founder Kemmons Wilson, to be the first to share their personal travel stories and the connections they’ve made with their hotel guests over the years. Through StoryCorps, the Wilsons’ recordings will be archived at the American Folklife Center in the Library of Congress, forever becoming part of American history.

“Throughout the years, the Holiday Inn brand has continued to evolve in order to stay connected to its guests,” said Kemmons Wilson, Jr., president and chairman of the board, Wilson Hotel Management Company, Inc. “From the first personal connections made at check-in to its online communications, it’s clear the Holiday Inn brand understands that listening to guests’ stories drives innovation and service.”

Whether it’s a chance encounter on a business trip that resulted in a lifelong friendship or a cherished family beach vacation, each personal story posted online by consumers as part of Stay Social, will connect travelers all over. While on the Holiday Inn Facebook page, guests will also have the opportunity to explore The Hub at Holiday Inn virtually and even share their thoughts on different elements of the space with the brand directly. In addition, one person will be chosen at random to win the Stay Social grand prize – an all expense paid trip to The Hub at Holiday Inn in Atlanta, Ga. After experiencing the best of Atlanta, including two tickets to a Major League Baseball game and an opportunity to record their winning story with StoryCorps, the winner will go home with a brand new iPad and Wii.


A Place to Connect

Holiday Inn Hotels also officially launched its innovative design of The Hub at Holiday Inn at the Holiday Inn Gwinnett Center in Georgia. The Hub at Holiday Inn is the answer to the changing needs of travelers. The 5,000 square-foot space integrates existing but separate public areas into one cohesive space designed to help guests easily connect with others and enjoy a variety of experiences outside their hotel room.


While Holiday Inn Hotels already provides guests with everything they need to stay connected to the office or home with free WiFi, accessible outlets and a business center, The Hub at Holiday Inn allows the brand to provide the added benefit of being able to connect with people on a social level. The Hub at Holiday Inn focuses heavily on three areas that really sets it apart from similar concepts: an enhanced bar experience for eating and drinking, the ability to have fun via the gaming area and being able to relax either at the outdoor cabanas and fire pits or in the media lounge. Between the restaurant, bar, coffee shop, market, media center, games and outdoor patio, it’s easy for guests to unwind at The Hub at Holiday Inn.

For more information about The Hub at Holiday Inn and Stay Social, please visit the Holiday Inn Facebook page.