Confronted with new competition
springing up around
their nine-year-old Econo
Lodge hotel in Lenoir City, Tenn., owner-operator
Howard Patel and his family carefully
considered strategies for maintaining their impressive
base of business. They decided to participate in the Econo
Lodge Exterior Enhancement Program, a solution devised by
Choice to revitalize the brand's older properties. Since the program
was introduced three years ago, the more than 320 franchisees
who participated have seen the performance of their
hotels improve significantly.
Choice helped the Patel family design a pleasing new
facade featuring columns, parapets, arches, a canopy entrance
and improved lighting. The objective was to modernize the
hotel's exterior to more accurately represent the value of its
guest rooms, which are upgraded on an ongoing basis.
"In the lodging business, it's important to stay on top of
the competition so that you don't lose your existing guests,"
Patel said. "The Econo Lodge Exterior Enhancement Program
has helped us hold our own and compete effectively against the
new hotels that are being constructed in our market."
Patel manages the 42-room hotel in partnership with his
wife, Indira, and the help of their college-age sons, Ketan and
Hitesh. They have taken several additional steps to make the
property stand out from the pack. For example, they
introduced free continental breakfast, put hair dryers
in every room, upgraded guest room television sets
to 25-inch models and established a policy of
free local telephone calls.