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Knights Inn Announces $3 Million Low Interest Loan Program
Chain Lays Groundwork for New Millennium
PARSIPPANY, NJ, April 6, 1998 – Knights Franchise Systems President and CEO Ramesh Gokal has unveiled an initiative developed to take the chain into the 21st century as the premier brand in the budget lodging segment -- a $3 million low-interest loan program aimed at helping franchisees modernize properties and enhance overall guest experience.  Through the support of parent company Cendant Corporation, the loans are being made available to qualified owners at a low four percent interest rate.

“We think this program has the potential to propel Knights into an unique position in the budget segment of the industry,” said Gokal.  “Modernizing our properties on both an aesthetic and functional level will enable Knights to continue attracting guests who are seeking a clean, comfortable lodging experience.  The program is just what we need to fulfill our three prong strategy to prepare for the new millennium.”

The new program was developed to assist franchisees that would otherwise have limited resources for extensive renovations and responds to franchisee requests for assistance with obtaining renovation financing.

 “Cendant’s commitment to its franchisees is our No. 1 priority, and we need to reinvest in our brands,” said John Russell, Chairman and CEO of Cendant Hotel Division.  “The synergistic benefits of belonging to an organization such as Cendant are invaluable. By assisting franchisees in enhancing their properties, we are demonstrating to our guests that Knights is a brand committed to the future.”

Loans, which can be used for exterior and/or interior renovations and signage, will be capped at $100,000 per property. The interest rate will be set at four percent, and loan amounts will be repayable over a three-year term.  All renovations must be completed by October 31, 1999.

The loan program is an outgrowth of Gokal’s philosophy that chains must be willing to listen to their franchisees, understand their needs and provide the vision and actions necessary for long-term success.   The President insists that the second prong of focus for Knights Inn is on consistently providing “customized service” to both its franchisees and guests.  Gokal’s vision is fueled by his central business philosophy that success in the hospitality industry comes not only from product delivery -- it must also accompany superior service delivery.  Knights Inn is one of the first brands in the budget segment to place a major emphasis on guest service.
“Vision, excitement and a new era of stability and service are growing the Knights’ system,” said Govind Patel, Chairman of the Knights Inn Kourt, the chain’s franchisee advisory Board.  “We are happy to see the benefits of franchising under the Cendant umbrella.”

The third element in Knights Inn’s formula for success is embracing technology.  The brand’s fully integrated, comprehensive property management system, the new Knightline 2020,  is a critical element in Gokal’s plan for providing operating efficiencies and more customized service to Knight Inn franchisees. The enhanced system, made available to Knights Inn franchisees at no cost as a member of the Cendant family of hotel companies, also gives Knights Inn owners the ability to direct market, forecast and track guest preferences.

“Looking toward the year 2000 and beyond, Knights is committed to total satisfaction -- of its franchisees, employees and guests,” said Gokal.  “With the development of a basic, but contemporary Knights Inn room, backed by great guest service and new technology, the chain is ready for the guest of tomorrow.”

Knights Franchise Systems, Inc. is a budget lodging chain of more than 200 franchised properties in the United States and Canada.  Knights Franchise Systems is a subsidiary of Cendant Corporation (NYSE:CD).  For reservations or further information, the toll-free number is 1-800-843-5644 (1-800-THE KNIGHTS).

Evy Apostolatos
(973) 496-8420

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