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Opening of Comfort Suites in Lake Geneva, WI, Heralded by
Choice Hotels Executives as “Marker on a Continuum”
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5,000th Choice Brand Hotel Opens
            
Lake Geneva, WI (September 7, 2005)—Worldwide lodging franchisor Choice Hotels International, Inc. (NYSE:CHH) today celebrated the opening of the company’s 5000th franchised hotel, a Comfort Suites brand hotel in Lake Geneva, WI.   
            
Choice Hotels President and CEO Chuck Ledsinger, who attended the hotel’s grand opening with a host of Choice executives and VIP guests of the Lake Geneva Hospitality Group LLC, which owns the hotel, called the event “less a milestone reached than a marker on a continuum,” as the company strives toward its vision to generate the highest return on investment of any hotel franchise.
            
“The opening of our 5000th hotel is a testament to the strength and endurance of the Choice Hotels franchise system,” Ledsinger said.  “Our challenge, looking ahead to the next 5000 hotels that join our system and beyond, is to continue to build on the momentum that has brought us to this 5000th opening.”
            
Launched in 1939 as an organization of seven independent Florida motel owners, Choice Hotels has grown to become one of the world’s largest lodging franchisors, with hotels, inns, all-suites and resorts marketed in more than 40 nations under the Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality, Clarion, Sleep Inn, MainStay Suites, Econo Lodge and Rodeway Inn brand names.  The company went public on the New York Stock Exchange in 1996 and is traded under the ticker symbol NYSE:CHH.
            
According to Ledsinger, the true measure of any franchise system is the success and profitability of its franchisees.  “The opening of our 5000th hotel is indicative of our ability to generate a return on investment for our franchisee partners,” he said.  “So is the fact that the overwhelming majority of our franchisees choose to stay with us rather than switch to competing brands or become independent when their contract expires.”
            
The power of the company’s brand names has fueled its growth, Ledsinger said.  Choice Hotels’ flagship brand, Comfort Inn, enjoys 98 percent aided brand awareness among travelers, while its other brands also score high in terms of brand awareness.  The company’s newest brand, Cambria Suites, is designed to tap into the burgeoning upscale, tech-savvy travel market — giving the company solid positioning not only among today’s travelers but among tomorrow’s as well.
            
Ledsinger attributes the strength of the company’s brand positioning to its powerful marketing programs, anchored by a multi-brand marketing campaign designed to drive business to Choice brand hotels.  “We’ll See You There” is the consistent message, reinforced via broadcast and print advertising, national and regional promotions, the Choice Privileges and EA$Y CHOICE guest rewards programs, intermediary marketing initiatives, the company’s award-winning proprietary website, Choicehotels.com, and more.
            
These marketing strategies result in strong and consistent reservations delivery to franchisees, Ledsinger said, with an estimated $1.4 billion in gross room revenue, and 55 million room nights, booked through Choice Hotels’ central reservations system in 2004.
            
“For the first 5000 hotels in our system, franchisee success has been our top priority,” Ledsinger said.  “Our performance has been determined by their performance, our success by their success.
            
“We are proud of what we have accomplished together, to get to this point,” he said.  “Every franchisee in our system can take pride in this 5000th hotel opening.”

Choice Hotels International is the world’s second largest lodging franchisor, marketing more than 5,000 hotels open or under development in over 40 countries and territories under the Clarion, Quality, Comfort Suites, Comfort Inn, Sleep Inn, MainStay Suites, Econo Lodge and Rodeway Inn brand names.  For more information on Choice, visit the company’s Web site at www.choicehotels.com.

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Contact:

Anne Papa Curtis
Tel: (301) 592-5155
anne_curtis@choicehotels.com

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Also See: Franchise Sales Director Tesh Patel Receives Choice Hotels’ Highest Sales Achievement Award – the Victor G. Trapani Award for Sales Excellence / February 2005
Choice Hotels Names the Best Hotel Within Each Brand; The 2004 Inn of the Year Awards / May 2004


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