Choice Hotels Opens 6,000th Franchised Property

Opening of 359-Room Inn of Chicago Magnificent Mile, an Ascend Collection Hotel, Enables Pioneering Global Lodging Franchisor to Reach Historic Milestone

PHOENIX, Sept. 22 // PRNewswire-FirstCall // -- From the site of The Lodging Conference 2009, Choice Hotels International, Inc. (NYSE: CHH) today announced that it has reached 6,000 franchised properties online with the opening of the Inn of Chicago Magnificent Mile, an Ascend Collection hotel. The hotel, located adjacent to Chicago's famed Magnificent Mile, is owned by The Chartres Lodging Group, LLC, of San Francisco, and operated by Kokua Hospitality.

"We are extremely excited to reach the 6,000 property milestone, particularly with a historic property of the caliber and quality of the Inn of Chicago," said Stephen P. Joyce, president and chief executive officer, Choice Hotels International. "Strong, well-known brands, a proven ability to drive business to our franchisees' hotels, and an unrelenting focus on our owners' return on investment and property-level profitability continue to fuel our global growth."

Located just a half-block from Michigan Avenue's Magnificent Mile, the landmark Inn of Chicago was reborn in 2007 following a comprehensive, multi-million-dollar interior renovation designed to blend the classic 1928 property with contemporary, boutique-hotel elegance and re-establish it as one of the city's premiere business and leisure destinations. Highlights of the redesign included a stylish new lobby, signature InnBar lounge, reappointed guest rooms and bathrooms, and a total of 5,000 square feet of meeting space.

The Ascend Collection is an upscale network of historic, boutique and unique hotels across the United States and the Caribbean which enable properties such as the Inn of Chicago to maintain their local identity and individuality while accessing the robust global reservations and distribution system of Choice Hotels.

"We are honored that the Inn of Chicago is the 6,000th hotel in the Choice system," said Dan Sheline, senior vice president, Chartres Lodging. "Affiliating the property with Choice through the Ascend Collection program is a win-win proposition. Loyal Choice guests now have a marquis hotel option in downtown Chicago, while Chartres can position the property within an unrivaled global distribution system. Once business and leisure travelers have the opportunity to experience the centrally located Inn of Chicago, they'll find it offers all the modern amenities they are seeking in a boutique hotel."

"Adding a one-of-a-kind property like the Inn of Chicago to the roster of Ascend Collection hotels is a testament to the strength of the Ascend Collection program," said David Pepper, senior vice president, development and emerging brands, Choice Hotels International. "Across our portfolio, we offer developers a range of well-positioned new construction and conversion brands which are suitable for every stage of a hotel's lifecycle. Choice positions its owners for success via a wealth of centralized education and training resources and an array of marketing programs and promotions, including the award-winning Choice Privileges rewards program."

Founded as a marketing cooperative by a group of Florida motor court owners in 1941 as Quality Courts United, Choice Hotels was the nation's first hotel chain and is one of the world's largest lodging franchisors, with properties in the United States and more than 30 other countries and territories. Choice Hotels is the leading gainer of domestic market share over the past five years, as measured by open branded hotels, according to Smith Travel Research. Choice opened its 5,000th property in September 2005, the Comfort Suites Lake Geneva in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.

About Choice Hotels

Choice Hotels International, Inc. (NYSE: CHH) franchises more than 5,900 hotels, representing more than 479,000 rooms, in the United States and more than 30 other countries and territories. As of June 30, 2009, more than 800 hotels are under construction, awaiting conversion or approved for development in the United States, representing more than 64,000 rooms, and an additional 110 hotels, representing approximately 8,700 rooms, are under construction, awaiting conversion or approved for development in more than 15 other 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.

About The Chartres Lodging Group, LLC

The Chartres Lodging Group, LLC, is an investment and advisory firm focused on the investment, asset management and renovation of high-quality lodging assets. Chartres Lodging Group's principals have been responsible for more than $8 billion of lodging investments and have asset-managed more than 100 upscale and luxury hotels, resorts and conference centers. The firm is currently responsible for a $6-billion, 20,000-room portfolio of luxury and upscale hotels, conference centers and resorts located throughout the United States and Japan. Chartres Lodging is ranked 14th in Hotel Business' Top 100 Owners and Developers and is headquartered in San Francisco, with offices in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Tokyo.

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


SOURCE Choice Hotels International, Inc.

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