Choice Hotels

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Choice Hotels International, Inc
Traded as NYSECHH
Industry Lodging/Travel
Founded 1939; 77 years ago (1939)
Headquarters Rockville, Maryland, U.S.
Number of locations
Increase 6,372
Area served
World Wide
Key people
-Steve Joyce, President and CEO
-Pat Pacious, Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer
-David White, CFO
-Robert McDowell, Senior Vice President, Global Distribution
-David Pepper, Senior Vice President, Global Development
-Mark Pearce, Senior Vice President, International Division
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$724 million (2013)
Increase US$112.6 million
Number of employees
The Clarion Hotel in Hamden, Connecticut
Comfort Inn in Concord, New Hampshire

Choice Hotels International, Inc. is a 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 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.

Comfort Suites (built 2000) in Laredo, Texas
Quality Inn, built in 2009, beside a Holiday Inn in Long Island City, New York
Sleep Inn, built in 2010, in Jamaica, Queens, New York City
Comfort Hotel Stockholm in Stockholm, Sweden

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.

1980s: Introduction of other brands[edit]

In 1982, Quality Inns began segmentation by introducing Comfort Inns and Quality Royale.[2] Comfort Inn competes with such 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, airport, and resorts. Clarion provides a full spectrum of services - including full service restaurants, lounges, room service, and banquet and conference centers.[2] 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.[2]

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.[2][3] Sleep Inn and Sleep Inn and Suites are lower mid-priced. Since then, over 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,[2] 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.


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.[4]

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.[5]

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 such as working the front desk, housekeeping, and maintenance work such as unclogging toilets.

In April 2015, a group of African-American high school students staying in the Live Oak, Florida Econolodge reported that hotel staff harassed them, stating they wanted to "get those niggers off our property".[7] After the story received national attention, the national company issued a statement that it was investigating the incident.[8] The NAACP also launched an investigation.[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 (about 20 minutes northwest of its current location) in 2013. Choice Hotels’ new headquarters is now located in Rockville Town Center.[10]

In August 2011 Choice Hotels broke ground on its 197,866 square feet (18,382.4 m2) corporate headquarters in Rockville.[11]


Logo used until 2015.

Choice Hotels includes the brands: Ascend Hotel Collection, Cambria Hotels & Suites, Clarion Hotels, Clarion Suites, Comfort Inn/Comfort Inn & Suites, Comfort Suites, Econo Lodge, Mainstay Suites, Quality Inn/Hotel/Quality Inn & Suites, Rodeway Inn, Sleep Inn/Sleep Inn & Suites, Suburban Extended Stay Hotel.


  1. ^ "Profile: Choice Hotels International Inc (CHH)". Retrieved 2 September 2014.  External link in |work= (help)
  2. ^ 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. 
  3. ^ "'McSleep' Loses to Big Mc". The New York Times. 19 September 1988. Retrieved 10 August 2013. 
  4. ^ "Choice Hotels Acquires Suburban Franchise Systems". 2005-09-28. Retrieved 2006-10-19. 
  5. ^ "Choice Hotels International Opens 33 New Hotels in November". December 9, 2009. Retrieved Jul 11, 2013. 
  6. ^ [ undercover-boss/ "Choice Hotels CEO Cleans Up His Act on 'Undercover Boss'"] Check |url= value (help). Retrieved 2 September 2014.  line feed character in |url= at position 72 (help); External link in |work= (help)
  7. ^
  8. ^ Jackman, Caresse (April 27, 2015). "Hotel chain responds to claims of racism made by students at Florida motel". Retrieved July 19, 2015. 
  9. ^ Zizaza, Nicky (April 21, 2015). "Flint NAACP launches investigation following racial harassment allegations". Retrieved July 19, 2015. 
  10. ^ "Choice Hotels moving to Rockville". The Washington Post. 2010-10-26. Retrieved 2011-10-09. 
  11. ^ "Construction starts on Choice Hotels headquarters in Rockville". Gazette.Net. 2011-08-31. Retrieved 2011-10-09. 

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