HB on the Scene: Choice has ‘tremendous’ year

Choice Hotels International Inc. revealed that it has had a “tremendous” year on the first day of its 67th annual convention at the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas with more than 6,000 hotel owners, general managers, vendors and Choice associates in attendance.

The convention comes on the heels of a landmark 2022, according to the company, with step-function growth bolstered by the acquisition of Radisson Hotels Americas. Choice continues to solidify its moves upmarket into the upscale and upper-upscale segments, creating more opportunities for franchise owners to capture higher-income consumers.

“The entire industry sees us differently,” said Patrick Pacious, president/CEO, Choice Hotels. “We are now the challenger in upscale; we own extended-stay; and we keep stealing share in midscale and upper-midscale…For two straight years, the new hotels we’ve brought in are, on average, performing at twice the revenue of the hotels that we’ve exited. Our model is different. We’re not chasing growth at all costs. Our entire system is getting better together.”

He said that as the company’s portfolio moves upmarket amid a resurgence in travel, it is “prioritizing innovative programs, amenities and loyalty opportunities,” including the introduction of a new Choice Privileges Select Mastercard earlier this month and the launch of a national multichannel marketing campaign starring actress Zooey Deschanel, who made an appearance at the conference. The company also continues to integrate sustainable business practices, including the implementation of programs like Commitment to Green and Room to be Green.

Pacious emphasized to the Choice franchisees that their properties are particularly well-positioned to capitalize on what he called the “5 Rs” now driving an increase in travel demand: rising wages, retirements, remote work, road trips and rebuilding America.”

He added, “The Choice brands and your hotels are in the sweet spot for all of these trends… At Choice, we’ve always been united by our shared belief that tomorrow will be even better than today. Together, we are going to build that better tomorrow.”