Microtel makes key franchise target

Microtel Inns & Suites has reported that it achieved its development objectives for 2007, having sold an outstanding number of franchises - 100 - during the year. The brand had a particularly strong fourth quarter and its best December ever, closing 35 deals.

The robust activity is also evident in Microtel’s pipeline, which currently consists of a backlog of 187 executed franchise agreements and an additional 39 approved in-house applications pending execution. There are 285 Microtel hotels open in 46 states and six international countries, and 36 hotels under construction. During the next six months, Microtel plans to open an additional 18 hotels and break ground on an additional 14 hotels.

Results from the ‘Construction Pipeline Report’ for Fourth Quarter 2007 from Lodging Econometrics, Portsmouth, NH - the industry authority for hotel real estate research - indicate that Microtel Inns & Suites was once again ranked the top economy hotel brand in the U.S. by number of projects and rooms in the pipeline, outpacing all others with nearly 50% of the total, and its nearest competitor at 11%.

“Microtel continues to achieve its strategic objectives and demonstrate its leadership position in the economy lodging segment, selling more new construction franchises than any other brand in our segment,” said Roy E. Flora, Chief Operating Officer of US Franchise Systems, Inc. (USFS), parent company of the franchisor of the Microtel Inns & Suites brand.

Flora cited that during 2007, Microtel’s performance exceeded the economy segment average. Average daily rate (ADR) increased from $51.78 to $56.60; occupancy remained at 60%, and RevPAR increased from $30.78 to $33.43, as compared to 2006. According to Smith Travel Research, the average economy segment ADR for 2007 was $53.79; occupancy was 56.9%, and RevPAR was $30.62.

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Additional highlights of Microtel Inns & Suites 2007 accomplishments included:

  * For an unprecedented sixth consecutive year, Microtel was ranked highest in guest satisfaction among economy/limited service hotel chains in the J.D. Power and Associates 2007 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index StudySM. Microtel is the only economy brand in the hotel industry to have received this recognition six successive times.
  * Microtel was the winner of the “Market Metrix Hospitality Index” for First Quarter 2007 with an 83.3% customer satisfaction score, surpassing 10 hotel chains and outperforming the economy hotel segment average of 78. In addition, 68% of respondents said they were “very likely to return” to a Microtel hotel, significantly higher than the segment average of 47%.
  * Microtel unveiled an innovative new hotel suite prototype that consists of four zones in a space-efficient layout. The new suite creates a contemporary and comfortable environment with unexpected enhancements that guests would not ordinarily expect to find in an economy hotel. The concept is available in five color-coordinated palettes to accommodate local market and owner preferences. It is being launched at all new Microtels worldwide.
  * The brand continued to attract more travelers with disabilities. Microtel is a sponsor of The Society for Accessible Travel & Hospitality (SATH) and is known as the preferred hotel chain for travelers with disabilities, Little People and seniors. The chain is committed to providing these rapidly growing market segments with quality, accessible hotel accommodations, and with a service culture prepared to make their stay an enjoyable experience.
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