Choice Hotels International Inc.’s upscale brands, the Ascend Hotel Collection and Cambria Hotels, achieved domestic room count growth of 24% year-over-year and outperformed local competitors in RevPAR share gains by 12 and 14 percentage points respectively in the first half of 2021.
The success of Ascend, a global portfolio of resort, boutique and historic hotels, and Cambria, designed for modern travelers with a distinct local experience, further validates Choice’s strategic focus on growing this revenue-intense segment, the company reports.
“With Americans rediscovering domestic destinations and the continued return to travel, as well as the trend of work from anywhere, guests are increasingly turning to Ascend and Cambria, thanks to their uniquely local experience and upscale amenities that allow for exploration,” said Janis Cannon, SVP, upscale brands, Choice Hotels. “As a result, our upscale brands are outperforming the local competition at record levels. In addition to the brands’ performance strength compared to the competition, both Ascend and Cambria have continued to expand.”
She continued, “Recently, we’ve added several waterfront and mountain retreats to Ascend—from the eastern shore of Maryland to the scenic mountains in the southeast corner of New Mexico. Plus, Cambria has welcomed hotels in Washington, DC; Orlando; Fort Lauderdale, FL; and Napa Valley, CA, so far this year and expects to open several additional properties before the end of the year, including in Austin; Nashville; and Louisville, KY.”
Choice’s upscale brands experienced several achievements in the first half of the year:
- Ascend Hotel Collection outperformed the upscale segment in RevPAR change by nearly 26 percentage points in the second quarter compared to 2019, while achieving RevPAR share gains of 12 percentage points against local competitors compared to the first half of 2019. In addition, July RevPAR increased 17.7%, driven by an increase in ADR of 20.7% as compared to 2019. At the same time, the industry’s first and largest soft brand continues to grow, with nearly 390 hotels open globally.
- Cambria Hotels achieved its strongest RevPAR Index in the brands’ history with a gain of nearly 15 percentage points against local competitors in the first half of the year, compared to 2019. Through June, the brand’s RevPAR Index change exceeded local competitors in 14 of the previous 15 months. In addition, the brand grew its unit portfolio size by 14% to 58 hotels, and there were 17 projects under active construction at the end of June.
Both Ascend and Cambria led its local competitors in occupancy and ADR in the first half of the year. Combined, these brands set a record for upscale domestic openings in the first half of the year, including 22 properties added as part of the company’s strategic alliance with Penn National Gaming.
“Our results in the first half of the year are proof that our upscale brands offer an attractive value proposition for current and prospective owners,” said Mark Shalala, SVP, development, upscale brands, Choice Hotels. “While Ascend affords franchisees the opportunity to convert an existing asset and tap into our industry-leading tools and resources, Cambria allows developers to build new-construction or adaptive-reuse hotels in major markets. Further, with guests enjoying the brands as much as they do, developers recognize their value and return-on-investment potential.”