"We'll leave the light on for you," Tom Bodett promises in his folksy ads for Motel 6. And now the budget-hotel giant is leaving on the stove and the voicemail machine, too, at "extended stay" rooms rented by the week.
Unlike most extended-stay rooms, which cater to businesspeople, Motel 6's new Studio 6 brand expects to bring in "a fair number of leisure travelers," says Carol Kirby, executive vice president of marketing. One lure is the price: about $199 to $249 per week. (Studio 6 rooms can also be rented by the night, but at higher cost.)
This year, Studio 6 hotels have opened in Tucson, El Paso and Jacksonville, Fla. By early May, the Motel 6 in Gilroy, Calif., is scheduled to open with one floor of Studio 6 rooms--the first in California. Within a year, the 800-hotel chain hopes to be running at least a dozen of the hotels, Kirby said.
The extended-stay rooms are bigger than Motel 6 rooms, and they have kitchens, voicemail and separate eating/office areas. Likely customers include people visiting relatives but reluctant to impose a lengthy stay on their hosts, and vacationing families looking to save on food costs, Kirby says.