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Cendant Hotel Group to Merge the AmeriHost Inn Franchise System
into the Baymont Inn & Suites Brand
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To Expedite the Rebranding Cendant Offering AmeriHost Inn
Franchisees Free Leases for New Exterior Signage
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PARSIPPANY, N.J. (April 26, 2006) - In a move to fulfill a strategic priority by strengthening its position in the midscale lodging segment, Cendant Hotel Group today said it intends to merge its AmeriHost Inn(r) franchise system into the recently acquired Baymont Inn & Suites(r) brand.
 
The merger aims to promote brand awareness and distribution in the marketplace by nearly doubling the Baymont brand's system size and increasing its marketing resources, according to Steven A. Rudnitsky, Cendant Hotel Group chairman and chief executive officer.
 
"This move will create critical mass for the Baymont brand, accelerating our efforts to drive more business to both our AmeriHost Inn and Baymont franchisees," he said.  "By combining these two high-quality brands under the Baymont name, we will create a much stronger competitor in the midscale segment."
 
AmeriHost History
AmeriHost Inn is a relative newcomer to the hotel industry, having first opened its doors in Athens, OH in 1989. Recently the brand celebrated its 100th hotel opening in Redding, CA. Every hotel features AmeriHost Inn's signature indoor pool with whirlpool area, complimentary expanded continental breakfast, exercise room, whirlpool suites and much more. And with the brand's Commitment Plus® satisfaction program, each guest will feel special every time they visit.

Anthony L. Berger, Cendant Hotel Group chief operating officer, said the decision to merge the Baymont and AmeriHost Inn brands was based, in part, on their "strikingly similar characteristics" including market positioning, guest demographics, pricing, quality and guest satisfaction measures and the preponderance of new-construction properties.
 
"These brands are a great fit," he said.  "Together, they offer a consistent, compelling product, both from the viewpoint of the owner-operator as well as the guest."
 
Berger said the merger also enhances development opportunities.  "Our substantial footprint of existing properties in the Midwest and south-central United States positions us to expand the Baymont system both eastward and westward," he said.  "Moreover, while the AmeriHost Inn trademark was compelling only in the United States, the Baymont name is licensed worldwide, creating broader opportunities to expand the brand."
 
AmeriHost Inn properties must meet new design and service standards and other criteria before they can be rebranded, Berger said.  "While many AmeriHost Inn properties are expected to qualify, the majority of those that do not will be given an opportunity to make necessary upgrades during the next several months."  To expedite the rebranding, Cendant Hotel Group will offer qualifying AmeriHost Inn franchisees a free lease for new exterior property signage.
 
Cendant Hotel Group completed its acquisition of the Baymont Inn & Suites brand on April 7 from affiliates of The Blackstone Group, a private investment firm based in New York.   The transaction included worldwide rights to the Baymont Inn & Suites brand but no real estate.  
 
Cendant Hotel Group, which will become part of a Cendant spin-off hospitality company called Wyndham Worldwide later this year, is one of the world's largest integrated lodging franchise and management companies with more than 6,400 hotels on six continents franchised under the Wyndham(r), Ramada(r), Days Inn(r), Super 8(r), Wingate Inn(r), Howard Johnson(r), Travelodge(r), Knights Inn(r), Baymont Inn & Suites(r) and AmeriHost Inn(r) brands. All hotels are owned individually and operated independently or by a Cendant subsidiary. Cendant Hotel Group's TripRewards(r) loyalty program is the largest in the industry, based on the number of participating hotels.

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Contact:

Rich Roberts
Vice President, Communications
Cendant Hotel Group
1 Sylvan Way
Parsippany, NJ  07054
 (973) 496-0750
rich.roberts@cendant.com

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Also See: Developer Jack Bortlea Building New Prototype for AmeriHost Inns, More ``Upscale'' Inn Located Near Port Columbus International Airport / December 2004
Developer Jack Bortlea Building New Prototype for AmeriHost Inns, More ``Upscale'' Inn Located Near Port Columbus International Airport / December 2004


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