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Membership with Ascend Collection from Choice Up
by Nearly 35% over 2010

SILVER SPRING, Md. (Dec. 21, 2011) – The Ascend Collection membership program from Choice Hotels International, Inc. (NYSE: CHH) reports record growth for 2011.
 
“Membership is up nearly 35 percent over the previous year,” says Stacy Ragland, the program’s vice president of operations.
 
The elite network is performing well across the board, according to Ragland. RevPAR through the end of the third quarter increased more than 9 percent, at $65.81 compared to $60.25 for the same period in 2010. Ascend Collection properties have seen on average more than 40 percent of their reservations from Choice Hotels channels this year—the highest contribution rate of any brand in the company’s domestic system.
 
This year, the portfolio debuted in Arizona, Connecticut, Michigan, Maryland, New Hampshire, and Quebec and New Brunswick in Canada, and expanded its footprint in key markets elsewhere across the U.S. The following properties came online:
Empowered and Independent
“The strength of Ascend Collection is that it allows independent hotels to maintain their individuality and local market identity, while also leveraging the strength of the Choice Hotels reservation and distribution systems,” Ragland says. 
 
While member properties continue to operate as they’re accustomed to, the Ascend Collection membership program provides tools and assistance to help them enhance service and performance. Among these resources: a global guest rewards program, online presence at ChoiceHotels.com, state-of-the-art property management system, performance consultations to assist in revenue generation, e-marketing tools, quality assurance reviews, online courses with robust guest service modules, conferences and webinars by industry leaders.
 
“Choice Hotels puts vast resources behind the independent hotel,” Ragland explains. “The goal isn’t to promote Ascend Collection, but rather to push the hotel and its name and offerings.”
 
“With millions of members in the Choice Privileges network, Ascend Collection will help Zona increase its visibility and introduce us to a new customer base,” says Bruce Pittet, general manager, Zona Hotels & Suites Scottsdale, which joined the portfolio earlier this year.
 
“Ascend Collection provides a fabulous e-marketing program,” notes Donna Herrick, the owner of Norfolk Lodge & Suites, a member property in Norfolk, Neb. “It’s also at the industry forefront in building visibility in the booming smartphone and PDA world.”
 
“The property management system, in my opinion, leads the industry,” says Jennifer Rota, general manager, Distrikt Hotel, an Ascend Collection property in New York City. “It allows us to manage reservations based on real-time information, an indispensable capability in today’s economy.”
 
Ragland says the network will roll out additional member resources in the New Year. “This is an exciting time for Ascend Collection,” she concludes. “With an outstanding roster of hotels and many more in the pipeline, we’re confident 2012 will see continued strong growth for our dynamic collection.”

About Ascend Collection
The Ascend Collection membership program made its debut in late 2008 and now has hotels open and under development throughout the United States, Canada and the Caribbean. The network appeals to the growing number of travelers who like to discover upscale and unique hotels with local flair when traveling for business or leisure. Member hotels include The GEM Hotels with three boutique hotels in New York City; Inn of Chicago, one-half block from The Magnificent Mile; The Lane Hotel, in scenic Keene, N.H.; and Inn on the Lake, just outside Halifax, N.S. For more information on this collection of Historic, Boutique and Unique and hotels, visit www.ascendcollection.com .

About Choice Hotels
Choice Hotels International, Inc. franchises more than 6,100 hotels, representing more than 490,000 rooms, in the United States and more than 30 other countries and territories.  As of September 30, 2011, 430 hotels were under construction, awaiting conversion or approved for development in the United States, representing more than 35,000 rooms, and 94 hotels, representing approximately 8,700 rooms, were under construction, awaiting conversion or approved for development in more than 20 other countries and territories.  The company's Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality, Sleep Inn, Clarion, Cambria Suites, MainStay Suites, Suburban Extended Stay Hotel, Econo Lodge and Rodeway Inn brands serve guests worldwide.  In addition, via its Ascend Collection membership program, travelers in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean have upscale lodging options at historic, boutique and unique hotels.
 
Additional corporate information may be found on the Choice Hotels International, Inc. Web site, which may be accessed at www.choicehotels.com.

Choice Hotels, Choice Hotels International, Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality, Sleep Inn, Clarion, Cambria Suites, MainStay Suites, Suburban Extended Stay Hotel, Econo Lodge, Rodeway Inn and Ascend Collection are proprietary trademarks and service marks of Choice Hotels International.


Contact: 

Sharlet Brennan
MMGY Global
407-838-1707
sbrennan@mmgyglobal.com
 

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Also See: Ascend Collection from Choice Adds The Wesport Inn in Connecticut and the GreenLinks Golf Villas at Lely Resort in Naples, Florida / November 2011

Ascend Collection from Choice Adds Three New Properties in October 2011 in California, Michigan and Pennsylvania / October 2011

The 431-room Xona Resort Suites in North Scottsdale, Arizona Becomes Zona Hotel & Suites Scottsdale as Part of Multi-Million Dollar Renovation and Reflagging; With Membership in Choice Hotel's Ascend Collection, the Property is Owned by Sunstone US Hotel and Operated by O'Neill Hotels & Resorts / October 2011

Ascend Collection from Choice Hotels Debuts in Washington, D.C. Market with the 261-suite Virginian Suites Arlington Owned by Virginian Associates, LLC and Operated by Modus Hotels, LLC / September 2011

Choice Hotels International and Foulger-Pratt Companies Break Ground for New Choice Hotels Corporate Headquarters in Rockville, Maryland / August 2011

Choice Hotels International Opens 28 New Hotels in July 2011 / August 2011

Ascend Collection from Choice Hotels Debuts in Arizona with the 431-room Xona Resort Suites in North Scottsdale Owned by Sunstone US Hotel and Operated by O'Neill Hotels & Resorts / July 2011

Choice Hotels Executes Lease for New Corporate Headquarters in Rockville, Maryland / July 2011

Choice Hotels International Opens 27 New Hotels in June 2011 / July 2011

Ascend Collection from Choice Hotels Debuts in New Hampshire with the 40-room Lane Hotel in Keene Operated by Colwen Management / June 2011

99-key Ben Lomond Suites Historic Hotel in Ogden, Utah, Joins Ascend Collection from Choice Hotels / March 2011

New Owner of XONA Resort Suites in Scottsdale, Arizona, Sunstone Realty Advisors, Chooses Tower Rock Hotels and Resorts to Manage Property / February 2011

Ascend Collection by Choice Hotels Continues Growth with Addition of Eleven Properties in Final Months of 2010 Bringing Total to 70 Open or Under Development / February 2011

Three Canadian Properties Join Choice Hotels Ascend Collection; The Château Moncton and Château Saint John, New Brunswick, and Hotel Royal William, Québec / January 2011

Choice Hotels International Opens 33 Hotels in November in 14 States and Seven Countries Adding More than 2,500 rooms / December 2010

Choice Hotels International Opens 24 New Hotels in October Adding More than 1,600 rooms / November 2010

Choice Hotels Offers Significant Incentives for Hotel Owners Interested in Converting an Existing Hotel to the Quality, Clarion or Econo Lodge Brand; Incentives Include Discounted Application Fees, No Royalty Fees and Cash Back Upon Opening / August 2010

To Stimulate Brand Growth Econo Lodge Offering Up to $25,000 in Incentives for Conversion Properties / Aug 2003

Choice Offers Development Incentive for Conversions to Quality Brand; Up to $85,000 in Savings for Conversion Properties / Aug 2002
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