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Choice Hotels Brand-wide Refresh of Comfort Inn and Comfort Suites Gains Momentum

Five New Hotels Break Ground with the New Comfort Prototype

PHOENIX, Oct. 4, 2012
-- The brand-wide refresh of the Comfort Inn and Comfort Suites brands is hitting a sweet spot with guests and developers. At the 2012 Lodging Conference, Choice Hotels International (NYSE: CHH), which franchises the Comfort Inn and Comfort Suites brands, announced that the Comfort "Redefined & Redesigned" plan is gaining momentum with the groundbreaking of new Comfort branded hotels, significant increases in guest satisfaction scores due to recently launched programs, and removal of hotels from the Comfort system that do not live up to guest expectations.

Revitalizing an Iconic Brand

"With more than three decades of success behind us, we're focused on the future of Comfort," said Christina Goldie Williamson, Senior Director of Brand Strategy and Head of Domestic Brand Management for the Comfort Family. "We're thrilled with the results we're already seeing and the renewed developer and guest interest in Comfort. Our goal is to have a refreshed system that is not only more competitive, but delivers a more consistent guest experience."

Five New Hotels Break Ground with the New Comfort Prototype

The brands' new Truly Yours® prototypes, which were formally launched earlier this year, were designed and developed using in-depth feedback from more than 1,500 guests and developers. Consumer research indicates that overall intent to stay at Comfort hotels nearly doubles in response to the new design and that guests are willing to pay significantly more on average per night compared with the current design. Guest response has been overwhelmingly favorable to the new concept's warm and inviting look and feel.
Developers are taking note – with the first hotels using the new prototype breaking ground in geographically diverse markets including Houston, TX; Fargo, ND; Bozeman, MT; Farmington, NM and Cheyenne, WY.

Brand-Wide Improvements to Existing Comfort Hotels

Existing Comfort hotels are also making changes to better appeal to guests. Brand programs were developed after extensive research with upper midscale and midscale guests. "In 2011, Comfort hotels implemented the new Your Morning® breakfast program and flat panel TV requirements, and we continue to see significant increases in guest satisfaction," continued Williamson. "In 2012, all Comfort hotels will implement the Your First Impression program, aimed at delivering a consistent and contemporary welcome experience to our guests." All Comfort hotels will implement a new bedding and pillow package that was defined during the development of the new design. Additional brand programs are under development for 2014 and 2015. "This refresh program is massive and it's having a significant impact on guest satisfaction," said Williamson. "Comfort hotels have added 154,000 new flat panel TVs, served 25 million waffles last year and are in the process of rolling out one million new pillows and 230,000 refreshed beds."

Complementing the programs outlined above, the Comfort Suites brand is focused on meeting the needs of business travelers, the vast majority of whom stay in midscale hotels. Those business travelers accounted for more than 115 million room nights industry-wide in 2011. Comfort Suites has already upgraded all of its business centers and added new in-room multi-function charging stations so that business travelers can stay connected. Comfort Suites hotels are also implementing the new Your Suite Success Fitness Centers and the Your Suite Success Market Place, which will be in place in early 2013.

In addition to these brand-wide programs, nearly 70% of the Comfort system will complete a Property Improvement Plan by the end of 2015, implementing key elements of the new design that increase intent to stay at Comfort hotels and ensuring that the Comfort brand always provides a reliable and refreshed guest experience.

Removing Hotels That Don't Meet New Guest Satisfaction Standards

Brand executives recently implemented higher guest satisfaction standards for the Comfort brand family with the goal of securing the brand's place as the first option for travelers within the upper midscale segment. "The new guest satisfaction standards are based on the voice of the guest," said Williamson. "When guest feedback indicates that a property is not living up to standards, we take action to improve or remove those properties." Choice has already started to remove hotels that are below the new guest satisfaction standard, and will continue to do so throughout the coming years. In Choice is prepared to remove up to 10 percent of the Comfort system if those hotels do not meet guest satisfaction thresholds.

About Choice Hotels

Choice Hotels International, Inc. franchises approximately 6,200 hotels, representing more than 495,000 rooms, in the United States and more than 30 other countries and territories. As of June 30, 2012, more than 375 hotels were under construction, awaiting conversion or approved for development in the United States, representing more than 30,000 rooms, and approximately 75 hotels, representing approximately 6,700 rooms, were under construction, awaiting conversion or approved for development in approximately 15 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, as well as its Ascend Hotel Collection membership program, serve guests worldwide.

Additional corporate information may be found on the Choice Hotels International, Inc. website, 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 Hotel Collection are proprietary trademarks and service marks of Choice Hotels International.

Contact:

Robin Pence
+1-301-592-5186
robin_pence@choicehotels.com
www.choicehotels.com

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Also See: Comfort Inn and Comfort Suites Brands to Debut New Design Package, Comfort Truly Yours, with the Upcoming Opening of the Recently Converted Spokane Valley Comfort Inn & Suites in Washington / May 2012

Choice Hotels Introduces Dual-Branded Combination Hotel Prototype for its Sleep Inn and MainStay Suites Brands / May 2012

Choice Hotels International Recognizes its Top Franchise Hotels & Owners at 2012 Convention; Woman of the Year Awarded to Kitty Friere, Top Hotels Awarded Hotel of the Year, Premier Alliance and Developer of the Year Recognitions / May 2012

Choice Hotels International Opens 46 New Hotels in Q1 2012; A 14% Increase over Q1 2011 / May 2012

Choice Hotels Promotes Stephanie Lykins to Vice President, Talent Development / April 2012

Choice Hotels International Appoints Alexandra Jaritz and Michael Murphy as Company Officers / March 2012

Robin Pence Appointed as Vice President of Public Relations for Choice Hotels International / March 2012

Choice Hotels Opens 5,000th Domestic Franchised Property with the Opening of the Comfort Suites in Katy, Texas / February 2012

Choice Hotels International Appoints Barbara T. Alexander to its Board of Directors / February 2012

Choice Hotels Names Simone Wu as Senior Vice President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary / February 2012

Choice Hotels Promotes Sarah Searls to Vice President of Business and Analytic Services / February 2012

Choice Hotels Launches Plan to Redefine and Redesign its Comfort Brand Family / January 2012

Choices Hotels Appoints John Tague to its Board of Directors / January 2012

Membership with Ascend Collection from Choice Up by Nearly 35% over 2010 / December 2011

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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