Villager Brand Signs Agreement With Home & Hearth, Inc. To Create New Extended-Stay Tier

Villager Franchise Systems Inc., a division of Cendant Corporation, today announced an agreement to franchise 14 Home & Hearth, Inc. extended-stay hotels representing more than 2,000 rooms in Texas, Nevada and Colorado.

The new name of the hotels will be Hearthside Extended Stay Studios by Villager, which will become a new Villager tier positioned as a mid-market, new-construction, extended-stay product. Home & Hearth, Inc., based in Dallas, owns, built and manages 14 mid-priced extended-stay hotels properties in three states representing 2,070 rooms. The company has additional Hearthside Extended Stay Studios by Villager under development.

“The Hearthside properties will give the Villager system a new-construction, extended-stay prototype as well as 14 existing properties with an outstanding performance record,” said Ken Rodgers, Villager president and chief executive officer. “Villager`s marketing clout, brand recognition and resources, coupled with this great new product, will make this agreement a win-win situation for both Hearthside and Villager,” he said.

Creation of the Hearthside Extended Stay Studios by Villager tier is part of an ambitious plan to expand the Villager system of more than 150 Villager Lodge and Villager Premier extended-stay hotels now open and under development. Villager`s franchise sales team and aggressive construction by the Home & Hearth organization will drive growth of the new tier, according to Rodgers.

Explaining his company`s decision to franchise with Villager Franchise Systems, Dale Bullough, chairman of the Home and Hearth board, said: “We conducted extensive research on the extended-stay industry and found that Villager was the only viable franchise system to support our development and acquisition plans. Our company`s association with Villager will ensure the continued high occupancy and success of our hotels. We are pleased to join an established company that is the franchise leader in extended stay.”


Tom Lykos, president of Home and Hearth, said: “Villager and Cendant are ideal partners because of their ability to increase brand awareness and long-term commitment to product quality. Our hotels will benefit from the corporate support, reservations and marketing programs offered to all Villager properties. The combination of the Hearthside product with the Villager franchise sales force provides new entrants into the extended-stay market niche a leg up on the competition.”

Speaking of the Home and Hearth team, Rodgers said: “I am truly excited that such a veteran organization will be joining our growing family, demonstrating their confidence in the continued success of Villager. The Hearthside team and properties represent the type of high-quality organization and product we continue to attract at Villager and will give us excellent representation in the Southwest.”

Founded in 1995, Home and Hearth developed hotels that it now operates in the Dallas-Forth Worth region, Houston and Austin, Texas, Nevada and Colorado. New properties in Las Vegas, Austin, Denver and Colorado Springs, Colo., are expected to come on line in the first half of this year.

Each facility has four room types including efficiencies, executive suites and one- or two-bedroom corporate apartments, all specifically designed to appeal to the growing demand for extended-stay lodging.

Villager Franchise Systems Inc., an extended-stay chain of 150 properties open or under development representing more than 10,000 guest rooms in the Unites States, Canada and Mexico, is a subsidiary of Cendant Corporation (NYSE: CD). For reservations or further information, call the Villager toll-free reservations number, (800) 328-7829, or access the chain`s Web site at For franchising opportunities for Hearthside Extended Stay Studios by Villager and other Villager properties, please call (800) 758-8999.