Choice Hotels 1998 Annual Report - Highlights


roadway image Choice's close working relationship with individual franchisees encompasses a wide range of operational issues including one of the lodging industry's greatest challenges: providing continuity despite ongoing personnel turnover. When the Rodeway Inn Airport East of Tempe, Ariz., recently lost its general manager, a Choice field representative worked with the new manager to make the transition.

Clark Ward was brought in during a peak travel season to serve as interim general manager of the hotel, owned by Choice's largest multiple franchisee, Sunburst Hospitality Corp. of Silver Spring, Md. Chris Bates, Choice's franchise service director assigned to the hotel, took the initiative to intervene and help Ward keep the property on track and maintain its award-winning reputation.

Bates' first order of business was to help Ward set optimal rates for his hotel. "Living in Phoenix, I was able to share my knowledge of the area with Clark, brief him on the area's seasons and help him set the appropriate rates," Bates said. "Clark arrived at Fiesta Bowl time, which is a huge money-maker for his hotel. I helped him set the appropriate rates based on the demand in the area at that time."

Jeff Heath, area manager for Sunburst Hospitality Corp., said the company's hotel managers work closely with Choice's field representatives. "Our franchise service directors help us with various projects including marketing programs," he said. "We feel comfortable picking up the phone and asking for their assistance. "By eliminating the assignment of multiple field staff representatives to each hotel, there now is a ratio of one franchise service representative to approximately 45 hotels in comparison to the previous ratio of one to 90," said Brent Russell, Choice vice president of franchise operations for the South Central Market Area. "Our franchisees appreciate the focus on revenue generation and extra service they receive."

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