Hotel Online Special Report

 Candlewood Receives Two "Best Practice Champion" Awards from Cornell University Panel
WICHITA, Kan - May 10, 1999--Candlewood Hotel Company (Nasdaq: CNDL), a leading owner, manager, developer and franchisor of value-oriented, business-travel hotels, announced today that it received two "Best Practice Champion" awards for innovation in the hotel industry in a special study conducted by Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration.
The company was recognized for the creation of the Candlewood Suites hotel concept -- its value-oriented, mid-priced, extended stay hotels designed for the business traveler -- and for its innovative electronic system for recording and imaging accounting and construction records.
Only 144 Best Practice Champions were selected from more than 3,500 companies and individuals nominated from a national sample of 15,000 hospitality managers at both corporate and property levels within the industry. The purpose of the national study, which was commissioned by The American Hotel Foundation and American Express, was to identify best practices in the hotel industry in areas such as operations, marketing, information technology, food and beverage.
"We are pleased that our Candlewood Suites concept was recognized by such a prestigious organization," said Jack DeBoer, Candlewood chairman and chief executive officer. "Validation of the Candlewood Suites concept by our industry peers is an honor in which we all take pride. Our more than 850 employees have worked very hard to turn this unique concept into reality. We have grown to nearly 70 hotels in less than three years with extraordinarily positive consumer response."
The award citation states that, "The most significant difference between Candlewood Suites and traditional hotels is the size of the guestroom. All studio rooms are 21.5 feet deep and 16 feet wide," almost 20 percent larger than standard hotel rooms. The citation further stated that, "The most impactful amenity is the notion of the Candlewood Cupboard...a large, fully stocked mini-convenience store located in its own room near the lobby." Candlewood Suites' guests can choose from a wide variety of value-priced items in the Cupboard, ranging from 25 cents to $5.00, and charge items to their bill or pay on an honor system basis.
Candlewood's other Best Practice Champion Award was for implementing an electronic system of recording and imaging virtually all accounting, construction and franchise records, which eliminates the storage of non-essential hard copy documents. Using two PCs, two high-speed scanners, and an optical disk "juke box," the system creates a faster and more accessible filing system that dramatically reduces records search time, shortening the response time to customers, vendors and employees. Estimated savings from the system in the first year were $90,000.
"Our company is built around the concept of value," DeBoer said. "We will continue to search for new ways to provide a better hotel room and deliver exceptional service at an unprecedented value."
Candlewood Suites is a leading mid-market, value-oriented hotel brand providing studio suites and one-bedroom suites designed for business travelers. Room rates range from $55 to $95 for studio suites and $75 to $115 for one-bedroom suites, depending on market location and length of stay. Currently, there are 69 Candlewood Suites open, including 10 franchised hotels, with an additional nine properties under construction.
Candlewood Hotel Co., Wichita
Gina-Lynne Scharoun, 316/631-1300
Also See: Candlewood Hotel Company Winner of 1998 Telman MasterTech Award for Bottom Line Profits / Sept 1998 
Candlewood Hotel Company, Inc., Selects Lexington® Services For Global Reservations / Feb 1999 

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