Hotelier Calls Third Review in 3 Years

NEW YORK Prime Hospitality is hunting for its third agency in three years to handle the advertising of the AmeriSuites and Wellesley Inns & Suites hotel chains, the client said. Sources estimated the account to be worth $7-10 million.

The Fairfield, N.J., client dismissed hospitality specialist MMG Worldwide in Kansas City, Mo., this year, and last October parted with Yesawich Pepperdine Brown & Russell of Orlando, Fla., said client vp of marketing Jim Gard.

Prime Hospitality is now reviewing credentials from 18 New York shops, though Gard said the door is open to further submissions, and the company might expand its search to include agencies in other regions.

Prime Hospitality, which operates 256 hotels in 36 states, last month was acquired by the Blackstone Group, a private investment firm that also owns Extended Stay Hotels. Blackstone intends to convert 37 Wellesley Inns & Suites locations, which were originally built as moderately priced extended-stay hotels with kitchens, to Extended Stay America sites, according to the company.

The time line for the search, which was launched before the sale, is undetermined, Gard said. No search consultant is involved.

Prime Hospitality spent about $2 million on ads for its AmeriSuites hotels last year and about $1 million on its Wellesley Inns & Suites chain, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.