Red Lion Hotels Corporation
Jun 1, 2004
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New Campaign from Red Lion Hotels brings the Lion to Life

Illustrated lion invites travelers to "Stay Comfortable."


Spokane, WA -- WestCoast Hospitality Corporation, representing Red Lion Hotels and WestCoast Hotels in the U.S. and Canada, has unveiled a new advertising and marketing campaign for Red Lion Hotels that will launch this June in a series of print ads. WestCoast Hospitality retained ISM Boston, an advertising agency specializing in the travel industry, to develop a new contemporary brand image for the Red Lion brand. Built around the tag line "Stay Comfortable", the campaign uses an illustrated lion that helps to portray the guest's experience when they stay at a Red Lion Hotel.

"Most hotel advertising looks the same and says essentially the same thing," explained Barry Hughes, Vice President of Marketing and Distribution for WestCoast Hospitality. "Our challenge was to create something distinctive that is true to the spirit of our brand and also resonates with our customers."

With the illustrated character, Red Lion Hotels plans to create a "brand mascot" that will eventually be featured on everything from the hotel vans and collateral materials, to websites and roadside billboards. "In the focus groups and testing we did, the lion continually won out over more traditional advertising," said Hughes, "Travelers thought the lion character made the advertising more fun and attention getting, helped to better capture and define the personality of the brand, and, when combined with the accompanying tag line of 'Stay Comfortable', it created a really effective way to convey the brand's core messages of comfort and value."

The campaign will break in daily newspapers and regional editions of USA Today in key markets for Red Lion Hotels, including Seattle, Denver, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Kansas City, St. Louis, Dallas and Houston. First among the messages communicated in the campaign will be the launch of WestCoast Hospitality's new free"Net4Guests"high-speed wireless Internet access, available in participating Red Lion and WestCoast Hotels.

"The mid-priced hotel category is extremely competitive and customers have a very hard time distinguishing one brand from another," stated Gary Leopold, President and CEO of ISM. "With this lion character, I think we have created something that is literally a personification of the Red Lion brand. It has infinite applications and enormous flexibility, and we plan to have a lot of fun weaving this character into the brand experience."

WestCoast Hospitality Corporation is a hospitality and leisure company primarily engaged in the ownership, management, development and franchising of mid-scale, full service hotels under its WestCoast® and Red Lion® brands. In addition, through its entertainment division, which includes its, Inc. subsidiary, it engages in event ticket distribution and promotes and presents a variety of entertainment productions. G&B Real Estate Services, its real estate division, engages in traditional real estate-related services, including developing, managing and acting as a broker for sales and leases of commercial and multi-unit residential properties.

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of federal securities law, including statements concerning plans, objectives, goals, strategies, projections of future events or performance and underlying assumptions (many of which are based, in turn upon further assumptions). The forward-looking statements in this press release are inherently subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed. Such risks and uncertainties include, among others, economic cycles; international conflicts; changes in future demand and supply for hotel rooms; competitive conditions in the lodging industry; relationships with franchisees and properties; impact of government regulations; ability to obtain financing; changes in energy, healthcare, insurance and other operating expenses; ability to sell non-core assets; ability to locate lessees for rental property and managing and leasing properties owned by third parties; dependency upon the ability and experience of executive officers and ability to retain or replace such officers as well as other matters discussed in the Company's annual report on Form 10-K for the 2002 fiscal year and in other documents filed by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Source: WestCoast Hospitality Corporation (News)