MILWAUKEE-Feb. 10, 1998-The Marcus Corporation (NYSE:MCS) today announced it is changing the name of its Budgetel subsidiary, a leading national lodging chain, to Baymont, a change that is expected to expand the company's customer base and significantly increase development opportunities. The name change was approved by The Marcus Corporation Board of Directors and endorsed by the Budgetel Franchise Advisory Council (BIFAC). All company- and franchise-owned locations will be operating under the Baymont name by October 31, 1998.
According to Stephen H. Marcus, chairman and CEO of The Marcus Corporation,
the company is making the
change now because the Budgetel name no longer reflects all of the current product's features and amenities.
Extensive research reveals Baymont will be able to attract additional guests, enhance development opportunities
and increase franchise expansion under its new banner. "Five years from now, our goal is to have between 400
and 500 locations as a direct result of this name change and the expanded market potential," said Marcus.
"Franchise owners enthusiastically embrace the change to Baymont," said
Doris Keller, chairperson of the
company's Franchise Advisory Council and owner of the Effingham, Illinois, property. "Budgetel has always
been a great hotel product for business and leisure travelers, but the name is a misnomer. We're confident the
Baymont name will allow owners and operators to attract a new group of customers while providing a superior,
quality product for our current guests," Ms. Keller added.
"The Baymont name allows us to realize an increase in RevPAR, a leading
industry standard to measure revenue
per available room," said company president David T. Lucas. "We will spend approximately $10 million to shape
and communicate the new Baymont product and image," Lucas added. "This total includes amounts we will
capitalize for new signage as well as the allocation of a significant portion of our existing marketing budget."
The company anticipates an after-tax charge against earnings in the fiscal 1998 fourth quarter of approximately
$2.5 million, or $0.08 per share, for the write-off of existing signage and other one-time expenses associated with
the name change.
This announcement represents one of the largest hotel brand name changes
in the 1990s without an acquisition
or change of ownership.
Currently, the company owns and franchises a total of 153 properties in 30 states. The national lodging chain offers more than 26 complimentary amenities and has a record of industry leadership with many consumer "firsts." For example, the company was the first hotel chain in its category to offer in-room coffee makers, complimentary room-delivered continental breakfast, key cards for all guest rooms for added security, and specially-designed business class rooms at all of its locations. Publications including Entrepreneur magazine have recognized the company as the top hotel chain in its class because of its attention to travelers' needs as well as overall quality and value.
Six months ago, the company began offering travel agent commissions
and is listed on the Global Distribution
Systems (GDS). Travel agents will continue to benefit from the company's innovative "Pay-In-A-Day" program,
and can make reservations and receive information by accessing the chain code BU.
The company is scheduled to unveil the final Baymont logo to industry
leaders and the media in April, after
management and BIFAC review. The new Baymont logo is being created by SBG Enterprise of San Francisco.
Headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, The Marcus Corporation is comprised of four divisions: motels, movie
theatres, hotels/resorts and restaurants. The company operates 153 Budgetel Inns (company-owned and
franchised); five Woodfield Suites in Wisconsin, Colorado and Ohio; 297 movie screens in Wisconsin and Illinois and one family entertainment center in Wisconsin; eight hotels and resorts in four states; and 31 KFC restaurants in Wisconsin.
Certain matters discussed in this press release are "forward-looking"
statements intended to qualify for the safe
harbors from liability established by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking
statements can generally be identified because of the context of the statement will include words such as the
company "believes," "anticipates," "expects" or similar import. Similar statements that describe the company's
future plans, objectives or goals are also forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements are
subject to certain risks or uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ materially from those currently
anticipated. Shareholders, potential investors and other readers are urged to consider these factors carefully in
evaluating the forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements made herein are only made as of the
date of this press release and the company undertakes no obligation to publicly update such forward-looking
statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.
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