Choice Hotels Officially Launches Upscale Ascend Collection Membership Program

Ascend Collection Properties Offer Guests Authentic, Local Experiences Via Network of Historic, Boutique and Unique Hotels

Silver Spring, Md., // PRNewswire-FirstCall // -- Worldwide lodging franchisor Choice Hotels International (NYSE: CHH) today announced the formal launch of its Ascend Collection program in the United States and the Caribbean.

Ascend Collection properties, all of which are historic, boutique, or unique hotels, must meet well-defined membership criteria and demonstrate a commitment to service excellence. Travelers have the peace of mind that comes with staying at hotels that offer authentic experiences and attentive guest care yet are still a part of one of the world's largest lodging companies.

"The Ascend Collection membership program is as unique as the hotels that are a part of this program, which retain their local identity and individuality," said Alexandra Jaritz, vice president, brand planning and management, Choice Hotels International. "Guests that are looking for something a little different in an upscale hotel, a more experiential travel experience that gives them a sense of local flair, should see what these historic, boutique, or unique hotels have to offer."

Among the Ascend Collection members are:

  • Three boutique Gem Hotels in New York City, located in the neighborhoods of SoHo, Midtown West and Chelsea. These 100% non-smoking hotels provide an intimate, boutique atmosphere and offer guests elegantly designed rooms with luxurious amenities. Each guest room features a flat- panel television and the hotels offer free high-speed Internet access.
  • The unique Golden Hotel in Golden, Colorado. This one-of-a-kind property offers guests the ambiance of a mountain lodge with views of the Clear Creek and nearby mountains. For travelers looking to transport themselves to a different place and time, the Golden Hotel offers a unique experience.
  • The historic Hotel Bothwell in Sedalia, Missouri. This stately hotel, recognized as a National Historic Landmark hotel, evokes the nostalgia of a bygone era of grace and charm reminiscent of when it opened its doors in the 1920s. The hotel features richly-appointed guestrooms, fine dining at the Ivory Grille, and historical decor. Guests that have stayed at this historic property include President Harry Truman, Gene Autry and Bette Davis.

"Ascend Collection members receive a wealth of services from a dedicated Ascend Collection team," said Stacy Ragland, vice president, Ascend Collection operations, Choice Hotels. "From opening services to brand performance to revenue management to an Ascend Collection-specific yearly meeting, Choice Hotels is offering targeted services to help these one-of-a-kind hotels maximize their potential."

The Ascend Collection membership program provides owners of independent hotels access to the robust reservations and distribution system of Choice Hotels, one which delivered nearly $2 billion per year in room revenues for its 5,600-plus hotels worldwide in 2007. Member hotels also retain their local identity and individuality. Ascend Collection hotels participate in the Choice Privileges rewards program, which has over 7 million members.

Consumers interested in reservations at an Ascend Collection property should visit ascendcollection.com. Hoteliers seeking to join the Ascend Collection program should visit www.choicehotelsfranchise.com.*

About Choice Hotels

Choice Hotels International franchises more than 5,700 hotels, representing more than 460,000 rooms, in the United States and 40 countries and territories. As of June 30, 2008, 992 hotels are under development in the United States, representing 80,292 rooms, and an additional 104 hotels, representing 8,824 rooms, are under development in more than 20 countries and territories. The company's Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality, Sleep Inn, Clarion, Cambria Suites, MainStay Suites, Suburban Extended Stay Hotel, Econo Lodge and Rodeway Inn brands serve guests worldwide.

Additional corporate information may be found on the Choice Hotels Web site, which may be accessed at http://www.choicehotels.com.

*This is not an offering. No offer or sale of a franchise will be made except by a Franchise Disclosure Document first filed and registered with applicable state authorities.

Choice Hotels, Choice Hotels International, Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality, Sleep Inn, Clarion, Cambria Suites, MainStay Suites, Suburban Extended Stay Hotel, Econo Lodge and Rodeway Inn are proprietary trademarks and service marks of Choice Hotels International.

(C) 2008 Choice Hotels International, Inc. All rights reserved.

SOURCE Choice Hotels International, Inc.

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