Business & Finance

Choice Hotels Comfort Hotel Brand Embarks on Aggressive U.S. Growth with 56 Properties Opening in 2017

ROCKVILLE, MD. May 4, 2017 - The Comfort hotel brand continues an aggressive plan this year, expecting to open 56 new properties, essentially a new hotel each week. As part of Choice Hotels International, one of the world's leading hotel companies, the new properties showcase the brand's significant growth and reflect the brand's strategic transformation and new design initiatives, which includes a refreshed, modern look and feel.

"The success of the Comfort brands, a pioneer in the segment, reinforces that Choice Hotels is a leader in upper midscale lodging. With the brand's recent enhancements and strong operating performance, Comfort has never been better positioned for growth," said Brian Quinn, vice president, franchise development, Choice Hotels. "The Comfort brand meets the needs of both experienced and first-time hotel developers, with modern, relevant hotel prototypes that are cost effective to build, maintain, and operate, contributing to a strong return on investment."

The recent Comfort openings are located across the country in key regions, and include a mix of new construction and conversion projects, including: •Comfort Suites in Johnstown, CO – 92 guest rooms •Comfort Suites in Brookings, SD – 100 guest rooms •Comfort Inn & Suites in Kew Gardens, NY – 85 guest rooms •Comfort Inn in La Porte, IN – 64 guest rooms •Comfort Inn in North Aurora, IL – 84 guest rooms •Comfort Inn in Dallas, TX – 103 guest rooms

"Comfort Inn and Comfort Suites properties work in all types of markets – whether urban, corporate office park, airport and interstate locations," said Anne Smith, vice president, brand strategy, Choice Hotels. "We're constantly striving to provide our business and leisure guests with superior service and offerings, and now we're satisfying more guests as we reach new markets."

The successful Comfort brand transformation has led to outstanding performance metrics and renewed development. The brand is experiencing all-time high guest satisfaction scores and continues to excel in the upper midscale segment on RevPAR growth, stealing market share and recording 27 consecutive months of RevPAR Index gains. In addition, nearly two-thirds of the 121 executed agreements for new Comfort locations in 2016, were new construction projects. This number has tripled in the last eight years. Comfort hotels are ramping up across the United States and will continue to expand to popular travel destinations this year, such as Salt Lake City, UT; Dallas-Fort Worth, TX; Charleston, SC; Jacksonville, FL; North Myrtle Beach, SC; Austin, TX; Oklahoma City, OK; and Tampa, FL.

Comfort® Rested.Set.Go.® The Comfort brand, franchised by Choice Hotels, has been trusted by travelers and hotel owners for more than 30 years. With a proven track record of reliability, convenience and value, both Comfort Inn and Comfort Suites hotel properties offer everything you need to feel refreshed and ready to take on the day, whether you're traveling for business or leisure. Comfort is the largest 100 percent smoke-free hotel brand in the North America with more than 1,800 properties open and operating as of December 31, 2016. With a Comfort brand hotel everywhere you need to be, complimentary amenities include a hot, hearty and healthy breakfast, free Wi-Fi, business center, and fitness center or swimming pool. Rested. Set. Go. Because behind every great day is a great night.

For more information, visit www.choicehotels.com/Comfort-Inn or www.choicehotels.com/Comfort-Suites.

About Choice Hotels

Choice Hotels International, Inc. (NYSE: CHH) is one of the world's largest lodging companies. With more than 6,500 hotels franchised in more than 40 countries and territories, Choice Hotels International represents more than 500,000 rooms around the globe. As of December 31, 2016 , 775 hotels were in our development pipeline. Our company's Ascend Hotel Collection®, Cambria® hotels & suites, Comfort Inn®, Comfort Suites®, Sleep Inn®, Quality®, Clarion®, MainStay Suites®, Suburban Extended Stay Hotel®, Econo Lodge®, Rodeway Inn®, and Vacation Rentals by Choice Hotels™ brands provide a spectrum of lodging choices to meet guests' needs. With more than 30 million members and counting, our Choice Privileges® rewards program enhances every trip a guest takes, with benefits ranging from instant, every day rewards to exceptional experiences, starting right when they join. All hotels and vacation rentals are independently owned and operated. Visit us at www.choicehotels.com for more information.

Contact:
Scott Carman
Scott.Carman@choicehotels.com
+ 1 (301) 592-6361

Coming Up In The June Online Hotel Business Review




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Feature Focus
Sales & Marketing: Who Owns the Guest?
Hotels and OTAs are, by necessity, joined at the hip and locked in a symbiotic relationship that is uneasy at best. Hotels require the marketing presence that OTAs offer and of course, OTAs guest’s email when it sends guest information to a hotel, effectively allowing OTAs to maintain “ownership” of the guest. Without ready access to guest need hotel product to offer their online customers. But recently, several OTAs have decided to no longer share a data, hotels are severely constrained from marketing directly to a guest which allows them to capture repeat business – the lowest cost and highest value travelers. Hotels also require this data to effectively market to previous guests, so ownership of this data will be a significant factor as hotels and OTAs move forward. Another issue is the increasing shift to mobile travel bookings. Mobile will account for more than half of all online travel bookings next year, and 78.6% of them will use their smartphone to make those reservations. As a result, hotels must have a robust mobile marketing plan in place, which means responsive design, one-click booking, and location technology. Another important mobile marketing element is a “Click-to-Call” feature. According to a recent Google survey, 68% of hotel guests report that it is extremely/very important to be able to call a hotel during the purchase phase, and 58% are very likely to call a hotel if the capability is available in a smartphone search. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.