Microtel Inns & Suites continues to demonstrate its leadership position in the economy lodging segment with increased levels of development activity, ringing in 31 executed contracts during the first quarter of 2006 alone. Year to date, the brand has sold nearly 50 franchises. The robust activity is also evident in Microtel’s pipeline, which currently consists of a backlog of 169 executed franchise agreements and an additional 98 approved in-house applications pending execution.
“New licensees joining the Microtel family are land owners, experienced developers and successful entrepreneurs,” said Mike Leven, President and CEO of US Franchise Systems, Inc., (USFS), parent company of the franchisor of Microtel Inns & Suites. “They are impressed with Microtel’s consistent design and high quality, and that the brand continues to produce high guest satisfaction with an all new construction product.”
The majority (70 to 75 percent) of new Microtel hotel owners are those who have never owned a hotel before, but may have operated another type of successful business or franchise.
According to Loulan Pitre, Jr., State Representative from Cut Off, Louisiana and a first-time hotelier and new Microtel franchisee, “Microtel is a quality brand with a consistent product and strong franchise support, and that is very important to me, especially as a first-time builder.”
In addition, according to the latest Construction Pipeline report from Lodging Econometrics, Portsmouth, N.H.—the industry authority for hotel real estate research—Microtel Inns & Suites has once again been ranked the top economy hotel brand in the U.S. by number of projects and rooms in the pipeline. With 210 projects and 14,792 rooms in the economy segment pipeline, Microtel far outpaces all others with more than 50% of the total, or 108 hotels having 7,404 rooms.
“We are proud that Microtel continues to aggressively sell more new construction franchises than any other brand in our segment,” continued Leven. “In addition to a very strong pipeline, this is the greatest number of license agreements that we have executed in a single quarter since early 2001.”
For the fourth consecutive year, Microtel was ranked highest in guest satisfaction among economy/budget hotel chains in J.D. Power and Associates’ “North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Study.” Microtel is also the first economy/budget hotel chain to provide guests with free local and long distance phone calls within the continental U.S., plus free wireless high speed Internet access in all its guestrooms nationwide. The brand won the 2005 “Extra Mile Award” from Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel Magazine for offering the free telecommunications amenities, and was the winner of the First Quarter 2006 “Market Metrix Hospitality Index” with an 84.3 percent customer satisfaction score, far surpassing other brands in the economy hotel segment.
There are currently 262 Microtel hotels open including the brand’s first Canadian property (in Parry Sound, Ontario), and 18 hotels under construction, including an international property in Boracay Island, The Philippines.