Country Inns & Suites By Carlson, one of the fastest growing international mid-tier lodging chains and part of Minneapolis, Minn.-based Carlson Hospitality Worldwide, today announced it has signed an agreement to develop the brand in Copenhagen, Denmark. The 170-room property will be a company-managed and leased hotel, a stepping stone in one of the brand`s strategies to grow by investment. In addition, Country Inns & Suites opened 54 hotels representing 4,023 rooms in 2001, a record for the chain. It also signed 35 license agreements and reached $350 million in revenue last year.
“With the recent opening of our 300th property in London, we are very much looking forward to continued international growth as well as further expansion in North America,” said Paul Kirwin, president, Country Inns & Suites By Carlson. “Copenhagen is a key market in Europe and represents a strategic location for us.”
There are several firsts for the brand among the new properties opened in 2001. The first Country Inns & Suites hotel opened in Australia in the city of Adelaide and in Quebec in the prestigious ski resort of Mont-Tremblant. The brand also opened its first co-branded hotel with its sister company, Radisson Hotels & Resorts, in Augusta, Ga. Country Inns & Suites also added a new country to its development portfolio. In early 2001, the brand signed a license agreement with GS Consorcio Operador in Mexico to develop five hotels over the next five years. The first property is currently under construction in San Luis Potosi with a targeted opening date of August 2002. “We are very pleased with the progress we have made in Mexico and the signing of this first development agreement will be a catalyst to draw other quality partners to develop Country Inns & Suites hotels throughout the region,” said Nancy Johnson, senior vice president of developement, Country Inns & Suites By Carlson.
The company also began construction on 42 properties in 2001 in key locations including Austin, Texas; Panama Canal, Panama; Orlando International Airport, Fla.; Paris, France; Houston, Texas; Newark International Airport, N.J.; Billings, Mont.; and Atlanta, Ga.
Country Inns & Suites locations feature traditional architecture and sophisticated residential interior design with hardwood flooring and decorative ceiling borders. Each hotel welcomes guests with traditional furnishings that blend rich woods and elegant floral-patterned fabrics. The rooms offer many amenities often found at higher-priced hotels such as complimentary breakfast, in-room coffee maker, in-room iron and ironing board, and weekday morning newspaper. Country Inns & Suites is known for its consistently high quality accommodations and personal, warm hospitality.
For the tenth year in a row, Country Inns & Suites has received a 98 percent guest return rating, one of the highest in the industry. As a way to thank guests for their loyalty to the brand, Country Inns & Suites launched an in-house library program at its North American hotels called Book It And Return which lends free books to guests based on the assurance they will return the book on their next visit. For every book returned to a Country Inns & Suites hotel, the company will make a $5.00 donation to Laubach Literacy, the world`s oldest and largest nonprofit educational literacy organization. New titles are introduced to the hotels` libraries each quarter.