Choice Hotels

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Choice Hotels International, Inc
Traded asNYSECHH
Russell 1000 Component
Founded1939; 79 years ago (1939)
HeadquartersRockville, Maryland, U.S.
Number of locations
Area served
Key people
Pat Pacious, (President & CEO)
Stewart W. Bainum Jr. (Chairman)
ProductsHotels and resorts
RevenueIncrease $1 billion (2017)
Increase $115 million (2017)
Number of employees

Choice Hotels International, Inc. is an American hospitality holding corporation based in Rockville, Maryland, in the United States. The company owns the hotel and motel brands Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality Inn, Sleep Inn, Clarion, Cambria Hotel & Suites, Mainstay Suites, Suburban Extended Stay, Econo Lodge, Rodeway Inn, and Ascend Hotel Collection.[1] The company franchises 6,379 properties worldwide. There were 505,278 rooms, with approximately $45.80 in revenue per room, totaling $758 million in revenue as of April 2016.[2]


Founding and early years[edit]

Quality Courts United, Inc., which began as a nonprofit referral chain of seven motels in Florida,[3] was founded in 1939.[4] It would undergo several name changes before becoming what is known today as Choice Hotels International.[3] The chain initially remained east of the Mississippi River.[5]

By the early 1960s, Quality Courts United had approximately 600 members.[5] All of its hotels needed to meet certain quality standards and offer amenities like air conditioning, telephones, swimming pools, paved driveways, and wall-to-wall carpeting.[5] In 1963, the organization became a for-profit corporation and changed its name to Quality Courts Motels, Inc.[3][5]

In 1957, Stewart W. Bainum Sr., who ran a Washington, D.C., plumbing business, opened his first hotel in Silver Spring, Maryland.[6] He later franchised his first Quality Courts motel in 1963.[7] In 1968, Bainum merged his business, Park Consolidated Motels, Inc., with Quality Courts Motels, assumed the role of president and CEO,[4][7] and moved the company's headquarters from Daytona Beach to Silver Spring, Maryland.[5]

Lodging Magazine wrote that, by 1969, Quality Courts Motels was the world's "largest association of independent motel operators".[3]

Growth and expansion[edit]

Cambria Chicago Magnificent Mile exterior
Rendering of Sleep Inn prototype exterior, November 2017

The company changed its name to Quality Inns International in 1972 and, in 1990, the parent company became known as Choice Hotels International.[5][8]

In the 1980s, the company started the industry's first market segmentation strategy, using a range of hotel brands across price points.[9] Geographically, it expanded across the country by opening hotels in the west.[5]

The Comfort brand, which would later become Choice Hotels' flagship brand, was established in 1981. The brand was marketed to family vacationers, business travelers, and senior citizens[5] to compete with Days Inn, Best Western, and Friendship Inn.[9] The company's Quality Inn hotels remained in the midscale segment, competing with Holiday Inn, Ramada, Howard Johnson, and Travelodge.[9] The now-discontinued Quality Royale brand was positioned as Choice Hotels' upscale brand,[3] designed to compete with Marriott, Hyatt, Hilton, and Sheraton.[9] In the 1980s, Choice bought Friendship Inn, Rodeway Inn, and Econo Lodge.[5]

In 1989, the company introduced McSleep, an economy brand utilizing a consistent, interior-corridor design prototype designed by Rob Spurr that was all new construction. The name was soon changed to Sleep Inn following litigation from McDonald's.[5][10]

Bainum's other business, Manor Care, Inc., which owned and managed nursing homes, bought Choice Hotels in 1990.[5] The company later spun off its hotels business in 1996.[11] Bainum Sr. led Choice Hotels International until 1987, when his son, Stewart W. Bainum Jr., took over the role of chairman and chief executive.[6] As of 2018, Bainum Jr. remains chairman of Choice Hotels.[12]

Choice Hotels International became publicly traded in 1996.[4] That same year, it announced the establishment of the MainStay Suites brand, a midscale extended-stay hotel.[13]

In the mid-2000s, Choice Hotels expanded into the upscale hotel market.[14][15] The company announced in 2005 the creation of its Cambria Hotels & Suites brand, later renamed Cambria Hotels, the company's first new brand since MainStay Suites's creation in 1996.[14] The Cambria brand was created as an upscale hotel chain marketed to business travelers.[14] As of 2018, the Cambria brand had expanded to about 100 hotels open or in the pipeline, including hotels in Philadelphia,[16] Dallas, New Orleans,[17] and Savannah, Georgia.[15]

In 2008, Choice Hotels was the first industry chain[where?] to establish a "soft brand", Ascend Hotel Collection.[18][19][20] The Ascend Hotel Collection includes upscale boutique and historic hotels whose owners are subject to fewer fixed brand standards compared with Choice's other brands.[18]

Recent developments[edit]

Quality Inn, built in 2009, beside a Holiday Inn in Long Island City, Queens, New York City
Sleep Inn JFK Airport, built in 2010, in Jamaica, Queens, New York City

In January 2005, Choice Hotels introduced a new upscale, all-suite hotel designed in contemporary style called Cambria Suites. The first Cambria Suites opened in Boise, Idaho on April 17, 2007.

In September 2005, Choice Hotels acquired the Suburban Extended-Stay Hotel chain, which consisted of 67 extended-stay hotels.[21]

In 2008, the company introduced the Ascend Collection (formerly Clarion Collection), an elite, upscale membership collection of historic boutique and unique hotels.

In 2010, CEO Steve Joyce was featured on an episode of Undercover Boss, a television program on CBS.[22] He pretended to be an intern doing entry-level jobs like working the front desk, housekeeping, and maintenance work such as unclogging toilets.

In February 2014, Stewart W. Bainum Sr., founder of Choice Hotels International, died at age 94 in Baltimore, Maryland. He had stepped down from the board in 2000.[23]

In December 2017, Choice Hotels International announced that it has reached a definitive agreement to acquire the brand and franchise business of WoodSpring Suites from WoodSpring Hotels Holdings LLC, a portfolio company of Lindsay Goldberg, for approximately $231 million.[24] In February 2018 Choice Hotels international completed its acquisition of the brand and franchise business of WoodSpring Suites, an extended-stay lodging brand, from WoodSpring Hotels LLC.[25]

Headquarters relocation[edit]

In October 2010, officials in Maryland and Montgomery County announced that Choice Hotels International would move its headquarters from suburban Silver Spring to Rockville, 13 miles[26] northwest of its current location in 2013. Choice Hotels’ new headquarters is now located in Rockville Town Center.[27]

In August 2011, Choice Hotels broke ground on its 197,866 square feet (18,382.4 m2) corporate headquarters in Rockville.[28] The company finalized its transition into the new building in June 2013.[29]

Notable hotels and partnerships[edit]

The Ascend Hotel Collection joined with Bluegreen Vacations, an international timeshare company, in 2013, making Bluegreen the "Official Vacation Ownership Provider for Choice Hotels." 21 Bluegreen Resorts became members of the Ascend Hotel Collection, and all Bluegreen Vacations owners gained Gold Elite status in the Choice Privileges program along with the ability to convert ownership points to Choice Privileges points.[30]

In 2016, Choice Hotels partnered with Future Energy Solutions, a green technology provider from Florida. The upgrades will include exchanging exterior lighting fixtures for energy efficient models for up to 6,400 hotels globally.[31]


Logo used until 2015
Cambria Hotel New Orleans Warehouse District guestroom, November 2017
Quality Inn exterior, November 2017

Choice Hotels International is the parent company of a number of hotel brands split among various market segments, in addition to a vacation rentals brand. At year-end 2017, Choice Hotels franchised 6,627 properties worldwide, with a total of 525,573 rooms.[32]:11 Following the acquisition of WoodSpring Suites, that increased to more than 6,800 properties.[33]


  • Ascend Hotel Collection
  • Cambria Hotels


  • Comfort
  • Sleep Inn
  • Quality Inn
  • Clarion Hotels

Extended stay

  • MainStay Suites
  • Suburban Extended Stay Hotel
  • WoodSpring Suites


  • Econo Lodge
  • Rodeway Inn

Vacation rentals

  • Vacation Rentals by Choice Hotels


  • Choice Privileges, formerly Guest Privileges

Loyalty program[edit]

The loyalty program is Choice Privileges, formerly Guest Privileges.


  1. ^ "Profile: Choice Hotels International Inc (CHH)". Reuters. Retrieved September 2, 2014.
  2. ^ "Who Owns What: Making Sense of the Hotel Chains and Their Brands". Retrieved March 27, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d e Ellen Meyer (April 10, 2018). "The origins and growth of franchising in the hotel industry". Lodging Magazine. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
  4. ^ a b c King, Danny (February 13, 2014). "Obituary: Choice Hotels founder Stewart Bainum Sr". Travel Weekly. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Jakle, John A; Sculle, Keith A; Rogers, Jefferson S (2002). The Motel in America. JHU Press. pp. 162–165. ISBN 9780801869181. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
  6. ^ a b Langer, Emily (February 19, 2014). "Stewart W. Bainum Sr., D.C. businessman, dies". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
  7. ^ a b Ricca, Stephanie (October 4, 2010). "AH&LA: celebrates an era of achievement". Hotel & Motel Management. Retrieved May 28, 2018. Stewart Bainum, from plumbing contractor to international franchisor: Stewart Bainum franchised his first motel with Quality Courts Motels in 1963, and by 1968 he operated eight nursing homes, incorporating them as Manor Care, Inc., while grouping five motels, franchised with Quality Courts Motels, under the name Park Consolidated Motels,Inc. In that year, Bainum merged Park Consolidated with Quality Courts, becoming president and chief financial officer of a company, which by then represented 410 franchised and 12 company-owned motels. Within two years, Quality Courts operated franchised motels in 33 states, and began its first international operations. In 1980 Bainum merged Manor Care and Quality, with Manor Care purchasing Quality for $37 million.
  8. ^ Faiola, Anthony (July 3, 1995). "Choice Hotels makes a wide turn". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 2, 2018.
  9. ^ a b c d Knight, Jerry (May 9, 1981). "Quality Inns planning 3 classes of motels". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
  10. ^ "'McSleep' Loses to Big Mc". The New York Times. September 19, 1988. Retrieved August 10, 2013.
  11. ^ Salganik, M. William (March 4, 2000). "Manor Care gets 2 buyout offers". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved March 10, 2017.
  12. ^ "Choice Hotels International". Reuters. Retrieved June 1, 2018.
  13. ^ Richards, Rhonda (January 26, 1996). "Midprice hotels becoming mainstay of travel". USA Today. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
  14. ^ a b c "Choice Hotels to launch 'lower-upscale' brand". The Washington Post. January 24, 2005. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
  15. ^ a b Grant, Peter (February 20, 2018). "Choice Hotels Signs Deal in Savannah". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
  16. ^ Hilario, Kenneth (February 22, 2018). "Philadelphia Cambria Hotel is now open on South Broad". Philadelphia Business Journal. Retrieved September 20, 2018.
  17. ^ Trejos, Nancy (February 16, 2018). "New hotels: Gleaming properties from Washington, D.C. to California". USA Today. Retrieved September 20, 2018.
  18. ^ a b Haberkorn, Jen (May 26, 2008). "Hotel franchiser rebrands collection". The Washington Times. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
  19. ^ Hughes, Kate (September 15, 2017). "Independently Minded: The Power of Soft Brands". Lodging Magazine. Retrieved September 20, 2018.
  20. ^ Sickel, Julie (July 7, 2017). "The Rise of Hotel 'Collection' Brands". Business Travel News. Retrieved September 20, 2018.
  21. ^ "Choice Hotels Acquires Suburban Franchise Systems". September 28, 2005. Retrieved October 19, 2006.
  22. ^ "Choice Hotels CEO Cleans Up His Act on 'Undercover Boss'". Daily Finance. Retrieved September 2, 2014.
  23. ^ "Stewart W. Bainum Sr., D.C. businessman, dies". Washington Post. Retrieved 2017-08-03.
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^ "Choice Hotels International Headquarters Move Marks A New Era". Choice Hotels International - Media Center. Retrieved 2018-04-24.
  27. ^ "Choice Hotels moving to Rockville". The Washington Post. October 26, 2010. Retrieved October 9, 2011.
  28. ^ "Construction starts on Choice Hotels headquarters in Rockville". Gazette.Net. August 31, 2011. Retrieved October 9, 2011.
  29. ^ Inc., Choice Hotels International,. "Choice Hotels International Completes Move Into New Rockville Headquarters". Retrieved 2018-04-24.
  30. ^ "Choice Hotels-Bluegreen Join Forces". Retrieved May 24, 2017.
  31. ^ "Choice Hotels taps Florida's Future Energy Solutions as vendor". Florida Business Daily. Retrieved April 28, 2016.
  32. ^ "2017 Form 10-K". Choice Hotels. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
  33. ^ "Choice Hotels boss says hotels in a tech battle with and Expedia". Australian Financial Review. March 13, 2018. Retrieved July 2, 2018.

External links[edit]