Silver Spring, Md., // PRNewswire-FirstCall // -- Choice Hotels International, Inc. (NYSE: CHH) is pleased to announce that Roberts Hotels Group is the company's largest African American franchisee with Choice Hotels room inventory fast approaching the 1,000 mark. Roberts Hotels Group also happens to be the largest African American owned and managed hotel group in the United States.
"Mike and Steve Roberts are two of the nation's most successful entrepreneurs therefore we make this announcement with great pride and respect," said Brian Parker, vice president of emerging markets and new business development for Choice Hotels International. "Their continued investment into the Choice Hotels system is a testament to the strength of our corporate culture, value of our brands, and commitment to diverse franchise ownership"
With the purchase of five Choice Hotels franchises since 2006, Choice branded hotels will comprise over 40 percent of the Roberts Hotels Group's portfolio. Their Choice properties include the currently open Comfort Inn and Conference Center hotel of Tampa, Fla. and the Clarion Hotel of Shreveport, La., as well as three properties slated to open in 2009 -- the Comfort Inn & Suites hotel of Fort Myers, Fla., the Roberts Benchmark Clarion Hotel of Memphis, Tenn., and the Roberts Walthall Clarion Hotel of Jackson, Miss.
"The Roberts Hotels group enjoys a wonderful working relationship with Choice Hotels," said Mike Roberts of Roberts Hotels Group. "They are professional, market flexible and reasonable to work with. We will purchase more properties in the future with Choice as our franchisor.
Roberts Hotels Group, LLC is just one of the businesses that comprise the Roberts Companies, owned by brothers Steven and Michael Roberts. As a multi-faceted company, the Roberts Companies include: four television stations- WRBU/my46 St. Louis, WZRB/CW 47, Columbia, South Carolina; WAZE/CW 19, Evansville, Indiana; WRBJ/CW 34; a radio station, WRBJ/ 97.7 FM, Jackson, Mississippi; a cellular broadcast tower company; an aviation company; the 1,550 seat Roberts Orpheum Theater; several residential and commercial real estate developments in St. Louis, Mo., and the Bahamas, a hotel group, as well as a construction management and consulting firm.
"I have had an opportunity to experience the Choice Owners TLC program which helped us to ensure that the quality of the Choice hotel programs are understood and encouraged from the ownership level through all levels," said Steve Roberts of Roberts Hotels Group.
The Roberts Companies have been featured in such prominent outlets such as PBS News, BET News, Commerce Magazine, St. Louis Magazine, Success Magazine, Forbes Magazine, Black Enterprise Magazine and Business Week.
The Roberts Brothers purchased the historic Mayfair hotel in downtown St. Louis in 2003. Their purchase of the now 83-year old, 182-room mostly luxury suite hotel represented the first affiliation of a minority-owned hotel with Wyndham Hotels, Inc. Roberts took over management of the Mayfair in 2006, and completed a $9 Million renovation to the guestrooms in 2007. With the acquisition of their second hotel, The Crowne Plaza Marietta, GA, they created Roberts Hotels Group, LLC, which has since grown to include 12 hotels including: Roberts Comfort Inn Busch Gardens in Tampa, FL, Roberts Holiday Inn Houston, SW in Houston, TX, Roberts Courtyard by Marriott in Dallas, TX, Roberts Hotel Indigo, Central West End in St. Louis, MO, Roberts Radisson Hotel and Conference Center in Spartanburg, SC and the Roberts Vista Hotel in Downtown St Louis, MO.
Steven and Michael Roberts were awarded the title of "Ernst & Young's 2007 Entrepreneur of the Year" in the Emerging Category for their outstanding achievements with the Roberts Hotels Group. Roberts Hotels Group is the largest African-American owned and managed hotel group in the nation.
Choice Hotels International franchises more than 5,700 hotels, representing more than 465,000 rooms, in the United States and more than 35 countries and territories. As of September 30, 2008, 955 hotels are under construction, awaiting conversion or approved for development in the United States, representing 76,269 rooms, and an additional 119 hotels, representing 9,647 rooms, are under construction, awaiting conversion or approved for 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. In addition, via its Ascend Collection membership program, travelers in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean have upscale lodging options at historic, boutique and unique hotels.
Additional corporate information may be found on the Choice Hotels Web site, which may be accessed at www.choicehotels.com.
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.
SOURCE Choice Hotels International, Inc.