HB ON THE SCENE: Choice Hotels Attributes Success to ‘Growth Mindset’

LAS VEGAS—Choice Hotels believes it and its franchisees can achieve anything by applying a mindset of growth to anything that comes their way.

“Hoteliers with a growth mindset have no limits,” said Choice Hotels CEO Pat Pacious in front of a ballroom of more than 6,500 attendees at the Rockville, MD-based hotel group’s 64th annual convention, held under the theme: “No Limits.”

Choice’s top executive attributes the company’s success to being bold and quick, and listening to industry trends, guests and franchisees; however, he noted that acquired knowledge is worthless without action, which is where operating with a growth mindset comes into play, and this enables the hotel company to set bigger goals.

Pacious addressed the following key statistics during his keynote speech:

  • The hospitality company opened nearly one hotel per day last year in the United States.
  • In 2017, Choice had its best development year since 2007.
  • The company awarded a total of 704 franchisees agreements in 2017.
  • Choice connected more than 200 million guests with more than 500,000 rooms.

He spoke highly of the lodging market’s current condition: Unemployment is at a record low, consumer spending is up, consumer confidence is high and recent tax reform efforts have positively impacted development in the industry’s pipeline.

On brand growth, Janis Cannon, SVP of upscale brands, and Anne Smith, VP of brand management and design, provided franchisees with brand updates.

Here are highlights of the duo’s remarks:

  • There are currently 300 Comfort properties in the pipeline.
  • Cambria opened 10 new properties in 2017, a record. The brand also has properties open or in the pipeline in 42 of the top 50 RevPAR markets.
  • Sleep Inn has more than 400 properties worldwide, with more than 140 in the pipeline.
  • Quality Inn has more than 1,500 hotels open, which is more than 150 properties opened in 2017.
  • The Ascend Hotel Collection has 200 properties across the globe.
  • Rodeway Inn had 98 hotel openings in 2017. The brand has 600 properties in the system.

With regard to Choice Privileges, Robert McDowell, the company’s chief commercial officer, pointed to how Choice’s loyalty program has grown over the years. It took Choice eight years to land its first five million members. Last year alone, the hospitality group enrolled five million members. The loyalty program now has a total of 34 million members.