Choice Hotels 1998 Annual Report - Highlights

Creating Value For Every Occasion

The lodging business is an occasion-driven business. So a hotel franchising company faces the critical challenge of offering the right choice, a choice with strong value, to its prospective guests in order to gain and grow market share.

"Our seven brands span the widest range of customer segments of any hotel company, from economy to mid-priced to upscale," said Mark Wells, senior vice president of marketing. "So we are in a great position to match our offerings with what guests truly need on any occasion."

For business or leisure travelers, those choices meet a broad range of price and amenity needs, so that Choice brand hotels can serve more than 70 percent of the total domestic hotel guest market. choice logos

Comfort, the company's largest single brand with more than 1,500 Comfort Inn hotels and almost 200 Comfort Suites hotels, succeeds by delivering on the promise of its name.

"Our hotels strive to consistently provide a comfortable, high-value stay for business and leisure travelers," explained Dan Shoen, Comfort brand management vice president. "Our suites product has given guests another good reason to seek out the Comfort brand."

In Econo Lodge and Rodeway Inn, the company's economy brands, brand management provides value-added programs that attract guests from distinct niches.

mr clean logo In conjunction with Procter & Gamble's Mr. Clean brand, the Econo Lodge brand has just launched the first program in the industry to certify housekeepers, with the goal of providing a clean room guarantee to guests.

"By teaming up with a recognizable, reputable consumer brand like Mr. Clean, we provide our Econo Lodge franchisees with a new edge in attracting value-oriented consumers looking for cleanliness assurance," said Tim Shuy, Econo Lodge brand management vice president.

Mike Cothran, Rodeway Inn brand management vice president, noted, "We know that Rodeway Inn hotels have special appeal for value-seeking guests, particularly senior citizens. That is why we have targeted our marketing to highlight that 25 percent of our rooms are designated Choice Room for seniors, with special amenities such as brighter lighting, large-button phones and level-handle doors."

In a different part of the brand spectrum, Clarion brand management vice president Don Kolodz is working with franchisees to bring better definition to the brand.

"As our entry in the upscale, full-service market, the Clarion brand gives us an offering of high value for business customers seeking full-service amenities," he said. "With meeting space and food and beverage service as brand hallmarks, we can provide meeting planners with an affordable alternative in the upscale market."

The Clarion Hotel Pembroke Corporate Center in Virginia Beach, Va., relies on direct sales support and guidance from Choice to help fill its conference and banquet facilities as well as its 149 guest rooms.
Click here for more information.

guest priv. logo

As a major step in building both brand identity and brand loyalty, the company launched Guest Privileges, a frequent stay rewards program, in the fall of 1998. Guest Privileges members can earn free stays, gifts and travel by choosing select Choice brand hotels (Comfort, Quality, Clarion, Sleep Inn) for their lodging. In addition to a free stay after just 10 visits, the program also allows members to earn points that can be used with such partners as American Airlines, JC Penney, the Home Depot and Eddie Bauer.

guest priv

Previous | Return to Table of Contents | Next