IHG's John Merkin talks about the major upgrade campaign underway for Holiday Inn
John Merkin supervises all the Holiday Inns in North and South America -- including the one in Miami Beach where he didn't want to have breakfast for a recent interview. Business Monday suggested hitting the morning buffet at the Holiday Inn on 43rd and Collins, but the New York publicist who offered us the Merkin interview insisted on somewhere else -- ultimately a Lincoln Road restaurant. The reason? Merkin wanted to talk up a major upgrade campaign underway at the 57-year-old hotel chain, and he didn't want to bring a reporter to a Holiday Inn (like the one in Miami Beach) that hadn't had the facelift. His reluctance captures the image makeover underway for the Holiday Inn brand, too, as Merkin and his team try to retire its reputation as a dated family vacation stop.