ATLANTA — Choice Hotels International’s growth strategy will focus on leisure demand across all segments, especially extended stay, said Janis Cannon, senior vice president of upscale brands.
Choice is looking to build off a successful 2021 in which it set company records in full-year net income and adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.
The company’s goal this year will be to continue improving upon those record numbers from last year, Cannon said in an interview with Hotel News Now at the 2022 Hunter Hotel Investment Conference.
“Our company actually got stronger during the pandemic. We were the first hotel company to exceed 2019 performance levels,” Cannon said. “As a result of that, for us, it’s really about keeping that momentum and accelerating further.”
Strong leisure demand in 2021 was responsible for the recovery of many hotel companies, including Choice.
The rise in retirement rates among baby boomers and remote workers provides opportunities for further growth in the leisure segment, Cannon said. Baby boomers have retired at triple the rate they did pre-pandemic, and the number of remote workers is expected to grow by more than 20 million over the next five years.
By focusing on the needs of those two groups across its extended-stay, midscale and upscale segments, Choice hopes to take full advantage of the growth opportunities. Cannon said rooftop bars, outdoor patios and flexible rooms will all be successful tools in gaining this leisure demand.
“We know that we’re going to be able to attract both the baby boomer … as well as this new digital remote working type of nomad,” she said.
Choice reinforced its commitment to the extended-stay segment after announcing Suburban Studios, a rebranding of its Suburban Extended Stay Hotel brand, in March.
The new name and look of the brand is fit for the extended-stay traveler of today, Cannon said, noting the rise of digital nomads due to the pandemic.
“Extended stay has always been a priority focus for Choice Hotels. … During the pandemic, it really showed the strength of the extended-stay brands because there’s leisure travel, and it was also longer length of stay,” Cannon said. “We see huge potential with the new Suburban Studios.”
Along with Suburban Studios, Choice has three other extended-stay brands: WoodSpring Suites, MainStay Suites and the new Everhome Suites, which is set to open its first location in Los Angeles this summer. The success of its existing extended-stay hotels has the company excited for future developments.
“The WoodSpring brand has just been a juggernaut of growth, both in terms of performance as well as openings and new deal signings as well,” Cannon said.
For more from Hotel News Now’s conversation with Janis Cannon, watch the video above.
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