Choice Hotels

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Choice Hotels International, Inc
Traded as NYSECHH
Russell 1000 Component
Industry Hospitality
Founded 1939; 79 years ago (1939)
Headquarters Rockville, Maryland, U.S.
Number of locations
Area served
Key people
Pat Pacious, (President & CEO)
Stewart W. Bainum Jr. (Chairman)
Products Hotels and resorts
Revenue Increase $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]

The company was started in 1939 as Quality Courts, a referral chain consisting of seven motel owners in the South. It published the names of all properties complying with its standards and referred guests to the member properties. In 1941, the group incorporated as Quality Courts United. Later, the motel chain operated under the name Quality Motels (1963–1971) and Quality Inns International (since 1972). Quality Courts United accepted franchise hotels without strict norms or guidelines from the company. This is different from Holiday Inn which from its beginning implemented numerous mandatory standards and guidelines (e.g., room size and amenities) at each of its locations. Also, Quality Inn accepted franchisees with existing hotels.

During its early years, Quality Courts' operations were entirely in areas of the United States east of the Mississippi River and in portions of Canada. From 1946 to 1964, Quality had a marketing partnership with Best Western, whose properties were located mostly west of the Mississippi River, and thus not in direct competition with Quality. It was abandoned in 1964 as Best Western expanded into the eastern U.S. with its Best Eastern operation (which was replaced by a nationwide Best Western operation in 1967). Quality Courts began its efforts toward national coverage in 1966 when it opened a motel in St. Louis, Missouri and two in Texas in Houston and Arlington.

Growth and expansion[edit]

Comfort Hotel Stockholm in Stockholm, Sweden
Comfort Suites (built in 2000) in Laredo, Texas
The Clarion Hotel in Hamden, Connecticut
Comfort Inn in Concord, New Hampshire

The company became Quality International as the company switched to franchising in 1972. A few years later, with the franchising well on its way, about 300 hotels were independently owned and only about 38 were still company-owned.

In 1982, Quality Inns began segmentation by introducing Comfort Inns and Quality Royale.[3] Comfort Inn competes with chains such as AmericInn Hotels, Baymont Inn & Suites, and Fairfield Inn by Marriott; Quality Royale was meant to compete with upper mid-priced chains like Red Lion Hotels and Four Points by Sheraton. Quality Royale was converted to Clarion Hotels in 1987.[citation needed] It represented a line of full-service hotels that offer travelers a variety of hotel styles and locations, from city centers to airports and resorts. Clarion provides a full spectrum of services, including full-service restaurants, lounges, room service, and banquet and conference centers.[3] Clarion's boutique line, Clarion Collection (now Ascend Collection), is an extension of the brand. Ascend Collection is designed for high-end boutique and historic hotels that have an established local identity.

Two all-suite divisions, Comfort Suites and Quality Suites, were introduced as the first mid-market, all-suite chains. The original Quality Inn brand competes with Holiday Inn, Best Western, and Ramada. Many former Holiday Inns were refranchised as Quality Inns during the 1990s and 2000s. Conversely, Quality eliminated more than half of its original locations.[3]

In 1989, the company introduced McSleep, an economy brand utilizing a consistent interior corridor design prototype and all-new construction, designed by Rob Spurr. The name was soon changed to Sleep Inn after litigation from McDonald's.[3][4] Sleep Inn and Suites are low to mid-priced. Since then, 320 locations have opened. All offer a "Morning Medley" deluxe continental breakfast, swimming pools at most locations, free local calls, and a consistent exterior/interior design. The brand received its first major facelift in history with its "Brand Refresh", a modernization of all properties by 2012 with new boutique-inspired guest rooms and public spaces.

In 1990, Quality International changed its name to Choice Hotels International. The company bought three economy-oriented chains, Friendship Inns, Rodeway Inn, and Econo Lodge during the early 1990s. Friendship Inns, founded in 1961 in Salt Lake City, Utah,[3] was later absorbed into the Rodeway and Econo Lodge chains.

In 1997, the company introduced the extended-stay Mainstay Suites brand and the Guest Privileges frequent guest loyalty program, the name of which was later changed to Choice Privileges. Mainstay Suites was branded as mid-priced extended stay hotels, franchised by Choice Hotels International.

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.[5]

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.[6] 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.[7]

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.[8] 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.[9]

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[10] northwest of its current location in 2013. Choice Hotels’ new headquarters is now located in Rockville Town Center.[11]

In August 2011, Choice Hotels broke ground on its 197,866 square feet (18,382.4 m2) corporate headquarters in Rockville.[12] The company finalized its transition into the new building in June 2013.[13]

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.[14]

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.[15]


Logo used until 2015

Choice Hotels includes the brands:

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 Jakle, John A.; Sculle, Keith A.; Rogers, Jefferson S. (1996). The Motel in America. Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 165–172. ISBN 0-8018-5383-4.
  4. ^ "'McSleep' Loses to Big Mc". The New York Times. September 19, 1988. Retrieved August 10, 2013.
  5. ^ "Choice Hotels Acquires Suburban Franchise Systems". September 28, 2005. Retrieved October 19, 2006.
  6. ^ "Choice Hotels CEO Cleans Up His Act on 'Undercover Boss'". Daily Finance. Retrieved September 2, 2014.
  7. ^ "Stewart W. Bainum Sr., D.C. businessman, dies". Washington Post. Retrieved 2017-08-03.
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Choice Hotels International Headquarters Move Marks A New Era". Choice Hotels International - Media Center. Retrieved 2018-04-24.
  11. ^ "Choice Hotels moving to Rockville". The Washington Post. October 26, 2010. Retrieved October 9, 2011.
  12. ^ "Construction starts on Choice Hotels headquarters in Rockville". Gazette.Net. August 31, 2011. Retrieved October 9, 2011.
  13. ^ Inc., Choice Hotels International,. "Choice Hotels International Completes Move Into New Rockville Headquarters". Retrieved 2018-04-24.
  14. ^ "Choice Hotels-Bluegreen Join Forces". Retrieved May 24, 2017.
  15. ^ "Choice Hotels taps Florida's Future Energy Solutions as vendor". Florida Business Daily. Retrieved April 28, 2016.

External links[edit]