Choice Hotels International (
recently announced that it's Comfort 'Redefined & Redesigned'
program has gained impetus with the opening of five new Comfort Inn
brand hotels to effect a surge in guest satisfaction. The company
launched the program to attain guest satisfaction by removal of
underperforming hotels, opening new hotels and restoring profitable
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Choice Hotels opened the five new Comfort Inn hotels earlier in
2012. The hotels were opened in five geographically diverse U.S.
markets - Texas, North Dakota, Montana, New Mexico and Wyoming. As
per the Consumer research undertaken by the company, the guest
count was seen to nearly double in response to new hotel design,
with the guests even willing to pay significantly more on average
Comfort Inn and Comfort Suites are the iconic brands of Choice
Hotels. The brands strive for a warm atmosphere and helpful service
for customers. Comfort Inn hotels are situated in around 2000
locations and Comfort Suites in 600 locations worldwide.
As a part of Comfort 'Redefined & Redesigned' program, Choice
hotels has renewed the existing Comfort Inn and Comfort
Suites hotels for upper midscale and midscale guests, based on
thorough research. In 2011, the program had successfully led to
increased contentment factor for Comfort Inn visitors. It involved
the inclusion of the new 'Your Morning breakfast' program and flat
panel TV in hotels. The Comfort Suites which target business
travelers, have also been upgraded with the addition of new in-room
multi-function charging stations in all hotels.
In 2012, Choice Hotels will put into practice the 'Your First
Impression' program across all Comfort Inn Hotels. The program is
intended to deliver steady, up-to-date guests experience, with the
inclusion of a new bedding and pillow package. Choice Hotels have
several other programs in its development pipeline for 2014 and
2015. Choice Hotels have plans to add the new 'Your Suite Success
Fitness Centers' and the 'Your Suite Success Market Place' in
Comfort Suites hotels in 2013.
With the addition of all these amenities in Comfort Inn and Comfort
Suites branded hotels, around 70% of the existing Comfort system
hotels will complete a Property Improvement Plan by the end of
2015. To further boost the program, Choice Hotels has already
removed some hotels from its roster which did not meet the Comfort
standards. The company has plans to remove around 10% of the
underperforming Comfort Inn and Comfort Suites branded hotels in
the coming years.
Choice hotels have been on a development spree in relation to its
other brands too. The company recently announced the opening of
hotels under its upscale brand - Ascend Collection - in key
Canadian markets. In addition, Choice Hotels also announced that it
will open Cambia suites branded hotels in New Jersey, Florida and
Pennsylvania by 2013.
Founded in 1981, Choice Hotels International has franchised around
6,200 hotels, while 375 hotels remain under construction, or have
been approved for development in U.S. On the other hand, some 75
hotels are under construction, or have been approved for
development on the international front, as of June 30, 2012.
The company, which competes with the likes of
Wyndham Worldwide Corporation (
The Marcus Corporation (
, is expected to release its third-quarter 2012 results on October
24, 2012. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the third quarter is
currently pegged at 62 cents per share.
We currently have a long-term Neutral recommendation on the stock.
However, it carries a short-term Zacks #2 Rank (Buy).