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Country Hearth Inns Show Record Growth

Country Hearth Inns, the mid-scale hotel
chain, has reported record growth so far this year, opening 15 new hotel
locations since January and planning to open another 16 properties by the
end of this year. There are currently 78 Country Hearth Inns open or under
development in the U.S. and Canada.Newly-opened hotels this year average 110 rooms each, and are located in
Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina
and Tennessee. In addition, four new-build hotels will open in 2005 in
Hesperia, California; Edwardsville, Illinois; London, Ontario, and
Harrison/Hot Springs, British Columbia, Canada, the brand’s first
development outside the U.S.

“Our portfolio is building faster than at any other time in our history,”
said Doug Collins, chairman and CEO of Country Hearth Inns. “We are
excited about our progress - especially for a chain of our size - and
attribute the growth to the success of our business model, and to
satisfied franchisees who are spreading the word about our user-friendly
franchise system.”

Country Hearth Inns’ business model is to operate like a family. Even with
the brand now expanding from tertiary markets to larger locales and
attracting larger hotels, it still retains a family-like atmosphere and
focuses on innovative brand-building initiatives and regional marketing
strategies to increase franchisees’ bottom lines. For example, earlier
this year, the company took a major step to bolster local marketing
efforts by deploying customized websites, complete with integrated booking
engines and marketing tools for each property.

Country Hearth’s central reservations system contribution is up 50% over
the same period last year and Internet contribution is up 100%. The
company expects the growth to continue, especially now that the individual
websites are being launched and properties can capture additional bookings
online. Also, ADR (average daily rate) showed significant growth over the
same period last year, increasing by 10%.

According to Dr. Val Patel, who switched from a much larger brand to open
a Country Hearth Suites Hotel at Atlanta’s international airport, “The
transition has been extremely smooth and we are running very strong at 93%
occupancy since joining the system just a few months ago.”