Choice Hotels International, Inc., one of the world’s largest hotel companies, today finalized its move to new global headquarters at 1 Choice Hotels Circle in Rockville, Md., at a ribbon cutting event attended by U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen, Rockville Mayor Phyllis Marcuccio, Maryland State Sen. Jennie M. Forehand and more than 400 state and local elected officials, economic development leaders, community representatives and employees.
Choice Hotels has been based in Montgomery County since 1968. The new headquarters in the heart of Rockville Town Square brings more than 430 associates and anticipates hundreds of franchisee visitors each year into this dynamic community to work, shop, play, eat and stay. Choice Hotels is also building a Cambria Suites hotel, its upscale brand, across the street as part of a mixed-used development.
“The Choice Hotels new worldwide headquarters reflects our proud past and exciting present as a nimble and technology-driven company innovating for our franchisees and their guests,” said Stephen P. Joyce, president and CEO of Choice Hotels International. “The location in Rockville Town Square is ideal for our associates, thanks to its central placement and easy access to Metro bus and rail service. It is also important for Choice Hotels, as the Washington area continues to develop as the home of the U.S. hotel industry.”
The company’s approximately 135,000-square-foot headquarters, occupying six floors of the building, is immediately recognizable as the home of a global hospitality company. Consoles in the reception area were designed in keeping with hotel check-in desks and an international welcome wall features iconic images that capture the character of the locations of Choice Hotels properties around the world. Meeting and gathering spaces throughout incorporate the latest hotel brand design schemes such as fabrics, seating, stonework, warm woods and polished metals. Guests and franchisees will also have use of a business center enabling them to work remotely and even print boarding passes.
Throughout the building, open staircases, airy workspaces with low walls, a myriad of outdoor spaces and indoor non-conference room meeting areas can be found. Wi-Fi is available throughout the building, a move designed to encourage associates to work anywhere that inspires creativity, not just at their workstations. On the fourth floor, an outdoor lounge features a state-of-the-art sound system, a fire pit and Wi-Fi. A large multi-functional meeting space and training rooms are equipped with the latest in audio- visual conferencing, projection, lighting and computer tablet controls.
Within the sleek, modern space, the company’s rich history will not be forgotten: the color scheme incorporates reds and yellows, a nod to the company’s storied past beginning when seven southern motel owners created the informal referral network Quality Courts in 1939 in Florida. On the 5th floor, a history area containing artwork, photographs and artifacts will serve as a de facto museum and constant reminder of the company’s roots. Next to the history area, model guest rooms will serve as experiential spaces as well as a way to ensure daily decisions are made with Choice’s guests and franchisees in mind.
Designed to meet the guidelines for certification under the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, the facility’s sustainability features include water consumption that has been reduced by 40%, locally sourced building materials and controllable lighting and thermostats. Energy consumption will be further offset through Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) sourced from wind power.
The building at 1 Choice Hotels Circle was developed and constructed by Rockville-based Foulger-Pratt Companies and designed by WDG Architecture. The Choice Hotels office space was designed by VOA Associates, the architecture firm behind the Choice Hotels offices in Phoenix, Ariz., which serve as the company’s global technology hub. Like the Rockville headquarters, the Phoenix branch was based on an open design to help foster innovative ideas and teamwork.