Silver Spring, Md. (August 6, 2003) - In a move designed to stimulate brand growth and enhance the curb appeal of new properties entering the system, Choice Hotels International (NYSE:CHH), franchisor of Econo Lodge brand hotels, today announced the launch of a cash incentive to be used for exterior renovations by new franchisees who convert their non-Choice brand properties to the Econo Lodge brand. Combined with a reduction in the brand`s affiliation fee, the incentive package nets up to $25,000 in savings for new Econo Lodge franchisees.
The incentive is available until December 31, 2003.
Issued as a forgivable loan of up to $17,500, the exterior renovation incentive is to be used for exterior signage costs and costs associated with landscaping, exterior wall upgrades and parking lot improvements. The loan will be forgiven for franchisees remaining with the Econo Lodge brand for seven years or longer. Properties must have a minimum of 50 rooms to qualify for the incentive.
As part of the incentive, the Econo Lodge affiliation fee has also been reduced to $17,500.
“In a tough economic environment, Econo Lodge already stands out as a brand that enjoys high consumer recognition and reservations delivery,” said Ron Burgett, vice president, franchise sales for Choice Hotels. “This incentive gives hotel owners yet another reason to align with Econo Lodge.”
Said Tim Shuy, Econo Lodge vice president and brand manager, “Affiliation with a strong brand in today`s economy makes good business sense. Affiliation with Econo Lodge, particularly as we`re offering this exterior renovation cash incentive, makes great business sense.”
Econo Lodge is one of eight brands franchised by Choice Hotels International.
There are more than 800 Econo Lodge brand hotels open or under development worldwide. Brand signatures include the innovative Procter & Gamble Mr. Clean® Housekeeping Certification Program, participation in the EA$Y CHOICE guest rewards program, and the Econo Lodge Senior Room, designed specifically to accommodate guests 60 and older. In 2002, Choice Hotels` Central Reservations System (CRS) delivered more than 22 percent of the Econo Lodge brand`s net room revenue.*
Choice Hotels International, Inc. is one of the world`s largest lodging franchisors, with more than 5,000 hotels open or under development in 48 countries marketed under the Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality, Sleep Inn, Clarion, MainStay Suites, Econo Lodge and Rodeway Inn brand names. For more information about Choice Hotels visit www.choicehotels.com.
*Source: April 1, 2003 Econo Lodge UFOC.
Choice Hotels, Choice Hotels International, Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality, Sleep Inn, Clarion, MainStay Suites, Econo Lodge, and Rodeway Inn are the proprietary trademarks and service marks of Choice Hotels International Inc.