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 Country Hearth Inns Opening 31 New Hotels in 2005; 
Mid-scale Chain Currently at 78 Properties
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ATLANTA (May 24, 2005) – 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.”

Following are locations where Country Hearth Inn properties have opened so far this year:

1. Kissimmee/Disney Maingate East, FL
2. Jacksonville/Airport, FL
3. Atlanta/Airport, GA 
4. Decatur, GA 
5. Rome, GA 
6. Elizabethtown, KY 
7. Paducah, KY 
8. Charlotte, NC 
9. Thomasville, NC 
10. Hershey, PA 
11. Gettysburg, PA 
12. Charleston, SC 
13. Spartanburg, SC 
14. St. George, SC 
15. Cookeville, TN

About Country Hearth Inns:
Country Hearth Inns are mid-priced, limited-service hotels that provide Southern hospitality, comfort and value to business and leisure travelers.  Hotels combine the homespun atmosphere of a bed and breakfast with the convenience of a hotel, including freshly-baked cookies at check-in, daily complimentary InnCredible Breakfast®, and evening manager's reception.  All guestrooms offer free local phone calls, high speed Internet access, data ports, and color TV with HBO/ESPN. 

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Contact:
Linda Williams
Country Hearth Inns
770-393-2662, ext. 102
lwilliams@buckheadamerica.com
http://www.countryhearth.com
Also See: Midscale Franchisor Hands Franchisees 22% Increase in Internet Bookings; Country Hearth Inn Fuels 22% Growth in 2003 with New Internet Booking Technology, Branding Strategy for Franchisees; Projects 28% Growth in 2004 / February 2004
Focusing on Rural markets, Cassland and Buckhead Developing four Country Hearth Inns in Georgia; Prototype hotels break even at a 50% occupancy rate and developed for as little as $35,000 a room/ Sept 2000

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