CHECO Purchase Company, LLC and Choice Hotels Ink Agreement to Develop 27 WoodSpring Suites Hotels

USA, Rockville, Maryland. January 28, 2019

 Choice Hotels International, Inc. (NYSE: CHH) signed an agreement with CHECO Purchase Company, LLC, a subsidiary of Concord Hospitality, which has newly formed Common Oaks Lodging LLC, to develop 27 new WoodSpring Suites hotels. The hotels will be built throughout Michigan and North Carolina, as well as in the metropolitan areas of Jacksonville, Fla. and Nashville, Tenn.

The transaction comes on the heels of the brand's record-setting growth year in 2018 where the WoodSpring Suites brand significantly exceeded the number of new contracts awarded in a single year. The brand now has more than 100 hotels in the pipeline, with nearly 250 open and 35 hotels expected to open in 2019.

"WoodSpring Suites isn't just the fastest-growing economy extended-stay brand, it's the fastest-growing hotel brand in the overall economy segment, and developers continue to recognize its strength and returns again and again," said Ron Burgett, vice president, WoodSpring Suites development, Choice Hotels. "We expect to build upon the success of our record-setting growth in 2018, and look forward to the acceleration of the WoodSpring Suites brand expansion with this agreement and bring more extended-stay accommodations to travelers across the U.S."

"I am very impressed with the WoodSpring Suites business model and what Choice Hotels will do with this brand. With our goal to develop 27 new WoodSpring Suites hotels over the next several years, my partners and I are furthering our long-lasting relationship with Choice hotels. In addition, this agreement marks the launch of Common Oaks Lodging LLC, a subsidiary of Concord Hospitality, which will provide the management and development services to this exciting new development portfolio," said Mark Laport, chief executive officer and president, Concord Hospitality and principal of the group who will own the hotels.

The venture marks an expansion of Concord Hospitality's existing relationship with Whitman Peterson, an institutionally backed real estate investment management company actively investing in the hospitality, multifamily, student, and seniors housing sectors. The firm has investments across 30-plus submarkets in the U.S. and also has investments in the United Kingdom and Latin America.

"We are so pleased to have this opportunity to help grow the WoodSpring Suites brand and - through Common Oaks Lodging - expand upon our existing relationship with Concord Hospitality. We believe the markets on which we are focused are ideal for WoodSpring Suites and fill a significant gap in this segment of the lodging industry," said Paul Novak, Managing Director for Whitman Peterson. 

"Choice anticipated that acquiring this all-new-construction, economy extended-stay brand would be a smart investment, and guests and developers agree," said Ralph Thiergart, vice president and general manager, extended stay brands, Choice Hotels. "The WoodSpring Suites brand has reenergized Choice's entire extended-stay portfolio, including the MainStay Suites and Suburban brands, which have also experienced record growth years. Simply put, WoodSpring Suites executes the basics better and guests and developers have noticed."

Choice Hotels awarded 75 new WoodSpring Suites franchise agreements in 2018 and opened 14 hotels in top markets across the U.S., including Chicago, Seattle, Atlanta, Detroit and Charlotte, N.C.

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Revenue Management: Focus On Profit

Revenue Management is still a relatively new profession within hotel operations and as such, it continues to evolve. One significant trend in this area is a shift away from using revenue as the foundation to generate key performance indicators (KPIs) and to instead place the emphasis on profit. Traditionally, revenue managers have relied on total revenue per available room (TrevPAR) and revenue per available room (RevPAR) as the basis of their KPIs. Now, some revenue managers are using gross operating profit per available room (GOPPAR) as their primary KPI. This puts profit at the center of revenue management strategy, and managers are increasingly searching for new ways to increase the profitability of their hotels. Return on Investment is the objective of any hotel investment, so it is only logical that profitability and ROI will be emphasized going forward. Another trend is an expanded focus on direct hotel bookings. Revenue managers know that one way to increase profitability is to steer guests away from online travel agencies (OTAs) and book directly with the hotel. This tactic also reinforces brand identity and loyalty, and encourages repeat business. In addition, it provides a valuable platform to market the hotel directly to the customer, and to upsell room upgrades or other services to them. Another trend for revenue managers involves automation in their software programs. Revenue management systems with automation are far more desirable than those without it. Automating data entry and logistics increases efficiency, allowing managers to spend more time on formulating strategy. As a bonus, an automated system helps with aggregating and interpreting data. The October issue of the Hotel Business Review will address these developments and document how some leading hotels are executing their revenue management strategies.