Up to 40 Travelodges could shut as landlords plot to replace them with a serviced apartment firm after being forced to accept rent cuts.
The sites’ owners are in talks with Room2, part of family-owned property firm Lamington Group, which is seeking to launch a low-cost version of its “hometel” concept that combines services apartments with some add-ons usually found in a hotel.
Discussions began after a bitter row between Travelodge and landlords, which culminated in a radical restructuring agreed last month.
The company voluntary arrangement forced some landlords to accept steep rent cuts until 2021. Property owners can break their leases and walk away from Travelodge as part of the agreement.
Room2 founder Robert Godwin said his firm had remained in the black throughout the pandemic, with occupancy rates of more than 50pc.
A former member of the British Olympic sailing team, Mr Godwin hopes that his “Room2 lite” concept will appeal to business customers as restrictions are lifted. This in turn should support landlords seeking longer-term certainty over rent collection.
Mr Godwin said Room2 is proposing to run new sites on a turnover rent basis where landlords’ earnings depend on the occupier’s revenues. The operator is in talks with the owners of up to 40 Travelodge premises.
He said: “Our hometel model has held up extremely well in recent months and proved its resilience despite the worst of economic cases.
“We now see a real opportunity to replicate this success in the budget hotel market, setting a new standard for consumers while offering landlords a hybrid leasing model which aligns their interests with ours and is resilient enough to drive sustainable returns over the long term.”