Choice Hotels

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Choice Hotels International, Inc
Traded as NYSECHH
Industry Lodging/Travel
Founded 1939; 78 years ago (1939)
Headquarters Rockville, Maryland, U.S.
Number of locations
Increase 6,372
Area served
World Wide
Key people

Steve Joyce,CEO

Pat Pacious, President & COO
Products Comfort Inn
Comfort Suites
Quality Inn
Sleep Inn
Cambria Hotel & Suites
Mainstay Suites
Suburban Extended Stay Hotel
Econo Lodge
Rodeway Inn
Ascend Hotel Collection
Revenue Increase US$924.6 million (2016)
Increase US$139.4 million (2016)
Number of employees
1,300 employed in Headquarters

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 manages 6,379 properties worldwide. There are 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 every one 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 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 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, 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 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. Approximately 20 Cambria Suites hotels were planned, with locations such as Bloomington, Minnesota and Savannah, Georgia, scheduled to open in 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 2009, Choice Hotels announced the opening of 33 franchised properties in November.[6]

In 2010, CEO Steve Joyce was featured on an episode of Undercover Boss, a television program on CBS.[7] He pretended to be an intern doing entry-level jobs such as 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.[8]

In April 2015, a group of African-American high school students staying in the Live Oak, Florida Econo Lodge reported that hotel staff harassed them, stating they wanted to "get those niggers off our property".[9] After the story received national attention, the national company issued a statement that it was investigating the incident.[10] The NAACP also launched an investigation.[11]

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, about 20 minutes northwest of its current location in 2013. Choice Hotels’ new headquarters is now located in Rockville Town Center.[12]

In August 2011, Choice Hotels broke ground on its 197,866 square feet (18,382.4 m2) corporate headquarters in Rockville.[13]

Notable hotels and partnerships The Ascend Hotel Collection joined with Bluegreen Vacations, an international timeshare company, in 2013. Choice Hotels started managing 21 Bluegreen Resorts in 2013.[14]

In 2015, Choice Hotels partnered with Pearl Properties, a real estate investment company out of Philadelphia. They announced a new 206 room Cambria hotel & suites in Philadelphia. The new property will be on (219) S. Broad Street along Avenue of The Arts. It is intended for business travel and leisure.[15]

In 2015, Choice Hotels began offering day use and day rooms for business and airport cruise port travelers in certain hotels. Day rooms allow customers to purchase a room while waiting for a flight, cruise, meeting, or business event. They are typically less expensive than purchasing an overnight stay in a room. Rodeway Inn and Suites, Fort Lauderdale Airport and Port Everglades Cruise Port was the first to implement this.[16]

In 2015, a new Cambria hotel & suites was opened in Manhattan. It was the first of its kind to be opened in New York. The hotel is located in Chelsea, in New York's Flower District, and features floral themes.[17] The company felt by opening a hotel in Chelsea before Times Square it would better fulfill unmet demand in urban markets. The hotel debuted new prototype elements for the brand including upgraded beds and a renovated lobby to act as a social hub.[18]

In 2016, Choice Hotels partnered with a green technology solution provider called Future Energy Solutions, out of Florida. The upgrades will include exchanging exterior lighting fixtures for energy efficient models for up to 6,400 hotels globally.[19]

In 2017, Rodeway Inn was recognized as a cruise hotel franchise for shuttle and parking accommodations made specifically to travelers in the Port Everglades Cruise Port.[20]


Logo used until 2015.

Choice Hotels includes the brands:

  • Ascend Hotel Collection
  • Cambria Hotels & Suites
  • Clarion Hotel
  • Comfort Suites
  • Comfort Inn
  • Econo Lodge
  • Mainstay Suites
  • Quality Inn
  • Rodeway Inn
  • Sleep Inn
  • Suburban Extended Stay Hotel

Loyalty program[edit]

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 International Opens 33 New Hotels in November". December 9, 2009. Retrieved July 11, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Choice Hotels CEO Cleans Up His Act on 'Undercover Boss'". Daily Finance. Retrieved September 2, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Stewart W. Bainum Sr., D.C. businessman, dies". Washington Post. Retrieved 2017-08-03. 
  9. ^ "Flint High School Students Take a College Tour and Get an Unfortunate Lesson on Racism". 
  10. ^ Jackman, Caresse (April 27, 2015). "Hotel chain responds to claims of racism made by students at Florida motel". Retrieved July 19, 2015. 
  11. ^ Zizaza, Nicky (April 21, 2015). "Flint NAACP launches investigation following racial harassment allegations". Retrieved July 19, 2015. 
  12. ^ "Choice Hotels moving to Rockville". The Washington Post. October 26, 2010. Retrieved October 9, 2011. 
  13. ^ "Construction starts on Choice Hotels headquarters in Rockville". Gazette.Net. August 31, 2011. Retrieved October 9, 2011. 
  14. ^ "Choice Hotels-Bluegreen Join Forces". Retrieved May 24, 2017. 
  15. ^ "Choice Hotels and Pearl Properties Partner to Develop New Cambria hotel & suites in Philadelphia, PA". Hotel Online. Retrieved May 24, 2017. 
  16. ^ "Cruise Port Hotel has Day Rooms for Late Flight Travelers". ScholarshipsNow. Retrieved April 28, 2016. 
  17. ^ "Grand Opening Choice Hotels Opens First Cambria Hotel & Suites in Manhattan". Retrieved April 20, 2016. 
  18. ^ Fox, Jena Tesse (September 2015). "Choice opens first New York Cambria". Hotel Management. 230 (11): 16–117. 
  19. ^ "Choice Hotels taps Florida's Future Energy Solutions as vendor". Florida Business Daily. Retrieved April 28, 2016. 
  20. ^ "2017 Edition - Best Hotels Near Fort Lauderdale Cruise Port". 2017-01-10. Retrieved 2017-08-05. 

External links[edit]