Silver Spring, Md. /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- Choice Hotels International, Inc., (NYSE: CHH) today announced that it has appointed Kevin Lewis as president, upscale and extended stay brands. In this position, Lewis will lead the operational strategies for Choice's Cambria Suites brand (the upscale, select-service brand launched in 2005); Suburban Extended Stay Hotel brand (the economy extended stay brand Choice acquired in September 2005) and MainStay Suites brand (the midscale extended stay brand Choice launched in 1996). In his new position, Lewis will continue to report to David A. Pepper, senior vice president, franchise development and emerging markets.
Lewis's appointment is precipitated by the combining of the Cambria Suites and extended stay brands under one division.
"Combining the upscale and extended stay brand teams into a single division under Kevin's leadership allows us to maximize our internal resources, talents and available funding in support of these key brands," said Stephen P. Joyce, president and CEO of Choice Hotels International. "This enables us to put the full power of Choice behind these three key brands, which we believe offers tremendous growth opportunities for Choice and hotel developers."
Lewis joined Choice Hotels International in September 2005, as part of Choice's acquisition of Suburban Franchise Holding Company, Inc., and its subsidiary Suburban Franchise Systems, Inc. At the time of the acquisition, Lewis was president and chief executive officer of Suburban Franchise Systems, a position he held from 2002 to 2005. He has more than 25 years' experience in the hospitality industry with a number of companies. In his career, he has also been responsible for brand strategy, franchise development, and hotel operations and support. He has a proven track record of driving strong RevPAR results, elevating guest satisfaction, and increasing brand awareness.
"Kevin Lewis is a seasoned professional with a strong track record leading start-up companies and building brands," said Pepper. "His keen understanding of all aspects of the franchise system, hotel operations, and brand building will be a major benefit to hotel developers -- particularly in this difficult economic environment. We are committed more than ever to both Cambria Suites and the extended stay brand segment. I look forward to watching this division grow and prosper in the years ahead."
"I would like to extend my appreciation to William Edmundson, a strong brand leader who helped launch the brand and its culture, who unfortunately is leaving the Choice organization," said Joyce. "William provided dedicated leadership to Cambria Suites over the past four years. His efforts have helped drive high awareness, excitement and credibility for Cambria Suites and established the brand as a leader in its segment during a very critical time. Today, the brand has an integrated marketing, development, operations and training strategy, which has earned it numerous marketing, design and services awards, as well as industry-leading customer satisfaction ratings."
Choice Hotels International franchises more than 5,800 hotels, representing more than 475,000 rooms, in the United States and more than 30 countries and territories. As of March 31, 2009, 896 hotels are under construction, awaiting conversion or approved for development in the United States, representing 70,381 rooms, and an additional 111 hotels, representing 9,114 rooms, are under construction, awaiting conversion or approved for development in more than 15 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 and the Caribbean have upscale lodging options at historic, boutique and unique hotels.
Specifically, within the new Upscale and Extended Stay Division, as of March 31, 2009, there were 64 Suburban Extended Stay Hotels open and operating, 37 MainStay Suites hotels open and operating, and 13 Cambria Suites hotels open and operating. As of March 31, 2009, the company's domestic hotel pipeline of hotels in the new division under construction, awaiting conversion or approved for development included 36 MainStay Suites hotels, 30 Suburban Extended Stay Hotels, and 55 Cambria Suites hotels.
Cambria Suites, Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality, Clarion, Sleep Inn, MainStay Suites, Suburban Extended Stay Hotel, Econo Lodge, Rodeway Inn, and Ascend Collection are proprietary trademarks and service marks of Choice Hotels International, Inc.
(c) 2009 Choice Hotels International, Inc. All rights reserved.
SOURCE Choice Hotels International, Inc.