Choice Hotels International, Inc. is experiencing its strongest new construction pipeline since 2009, exceeding 200 signed contracts in 2016.
The Comfort brand transformation and Sleep Inn all-new construction prototype have fueled development efforts, totaling over 75 percent of Choice Hotels' new construction agreements, with continued growth forecasted for 2017.
"As a proven leader in the upper midscale and midscale segments, Choice Hotels has experienced its strongest growth in recent history, driven by the success of both the Comfort and Sleep Inn brands," said Anne Smith, vice president, brand strategy, Choice Hotels. "In particular, Comfort and Sleep Inn meet the needs of small- to medium-sized developers, and have fresh, relevant hotel prototypes that are cost-effective to build, maintain, and operate."
Comfort Transformation and New Construction
The successful Comfort brand transformation has led to outstanding performance metrics and renewed development. The brand is experiencing all-time high guest satisfaction scores and continues to excel in the upper midscale segment on RevPAR growth, stealing share and recording 27 consecutive months of RevPAR index gains compared to its competitors. In addition, nearly two-thirds of the 121 executed agreements in 2016, are new construction projects.
This number has tripled in the last eight years. Currently, 28 hotels are under construction, totaling 2,136 rooms. Comfort hotels are ramping up across the United States and will expand to popular travel destinations, such as Charleston, S.C.; Miami; Jacksonville, Fla.; Dallas-Fort Worth; Charlotte, N.C.; St. Louis; Memphis; Nashville, Tenn.; and Birmingham, Ala.
"Innovative enhancements, trusted reliability, and best-in-class service, along with locations everywhere travelers want to stay, have drawn top developers to Comfort," said Brian Quinn, vice president, franchise development, Choice Hotels. "Our team has strategic initiatives in place to help hotel developers determine the best places to build new prototype Comfort brand properties. We also opened up optimal markets by removing 600 underperforming hotels."
Sleep Inn Growth and New Prototype
Similarly, Sleep Inn, an all-new construction brand and leader in the midscale lodging segment, is also generating strong interest from developers. The brand is outperforming the segment on RevPAR growth by more than double.
The brand unveiled an upgraded Designed to Dream prototype, in 2016, that remains cost-neutral and builds upon a 2010 system-wide renovation initiative. Designed to Dream has been well received by developers for its simple stylish aesthetic, which meets travelers' tastes and behaviors and is cost effective to build and operate. The newly evolved prototype has generated 51 new construction agreements, bringing the total pipeline to more than 100 locations. Most recently, the brand celebrated the opening of its first hotel featuring the new prototype design in Galion, Ohio, just nine months after the concept. Sleep Inn also has additional hotels coming soon to West Des Moines, Dallas and Houston.
"Sleep Inn has taken a 'less is more' approach with a simply stylish and consistent experience to ensure that we are meeting the needs of current and future travelers," added Smith. "We're seeing increased interest and positive feedback from developers and guests because the enhanced look and feel is universally appealing and versatile in all markets."
The Sleep Inn pipeline includes over 60 locations that feature the innovative Sleep Inn-MainStay Suites dual brand prototype that allows hoteliers to service multiple customer segments all under one roof, while delivering construction and operational efficiencies through shared public space, back of house facilities and hotel staff. More than half of the new Sleep Inn projects signed in 2016 will be part of the dual-brand with MainStay Suites.
The strong RevPAR of both the Comfort and Sleep Inn brands, dynamic brand performance, thriving new construction activity, and expansion of the dual brand Sleep Inn-MainStay Suites have positioned Choice Hotels for continued growth.