Choice Hotels International (NYSE:CHH) is a leading worldwide franchisor of hotels and the nation’s first hotel chain (1941). The company franchises over 5,400 hotels under the Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Cambria Suites, Sleep Inn, Mainstay Suites, Quality Inn, Clarion, EconoLodge, Rodeway Inn, and Suburban Extended Stay brands throughout the US and more than 40 countries and territories.[1]

Choice generates a majority of its revenue from royalty fees, which are based as a percentage of gross room revenue of its franchised hotels.[2] With a focus on hotel franchising instead of ownership, the company benefits from the economies of scale in the franchising business.

While CHH's brands are predominantly targeted to the middle income customer, it made its first foray into the upscale hotel segment with the Cambria Suites brand. CHH faces significant competition from the likes of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide (HOT), Marriott International (MAR), and Hilton Hotels (HLT) in the upscale segment.

Business Overview

CHH's business is primarily driven by:

  1. The number and relative mix of franchised hotels
  2. Occupancy and room rates achieved by the hotels under franchise
  3. Royalty rates which the franchises pay

CHH can make more money by increasing the number of franchised properties and the amount their franchisees are charged, without incurring substantially more costs. CHH has 860 franchised hotels with 66,238 rooms under construction.

When hotel owners franchise from CHH, they pay an upfront franchising fee, as well as 4%-6% of annual gross revenue for the life of contract. [3] CHH also charges hotel owners fees for providing marketing and reservation support. In return, the franchisees get to use the appropriate CHH brand name, reservation system, loyalty program, and benefit from the marketing which CHH does on their behalf.

Business & Financial Metrics[4]

In 2009, CHH generated a net income of $98.3 million on revenues of $564.2 million. This represents a 1.9% decrease in net income and a 12.1% decrease in total revenues from 2008, when the company earned $100.2 million on $641.7 million in revenues.

Business Segments

CHH operates in a single reportable business segment.[5] The company owns 10 hotel brands that mostly cater to mid-scale leisure or business traveller:

* Clarion and Quality: compete primarily in the full service midscale with food and beverage segment. [6]

* Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, and Sleep Inn: compete primarily in the limited service midscale without food & beverage segment. [7]

* MainStay Suites and Suburban Extended Stay Hotel: compete primarily in the extended stay segment. [8]

* Econo Lodge and Rodeway Inn: compete primarily in the economy segment. [9]

* Cambria Suites: introduced in January 2005, Cambria competes in the upscale segment. [10]

Great aritlce but it didn't have everything-I didn't find the kitchen sink!


Competition in the industry is generally based on the quality of rooms, restaurants, meeting facilities and services, attractiveness of locations, availability of a global distribution system, price and other factors. CHH's competitors include hotel chains such as Marriott International (MAR), Hilton Hotels (HLT), and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide (HOT).


  1. CHH 2006 10-k, Pg 1
  2. CHH 2006 10-k, Pg 32
  3. CHH 2006 10-k, Pg 14
  4. CHH 2009 10-K pg. 37  
  5. CHH 2009 10-K pg. 3  
  6. CHH 2006 10-k, Pg 5
  7. CHH 2006 10-k, Pg 5
  8. CHH 2006 10-k, Pg 5
  9. CHH 2006 10-k, Pg 5
  10. CHH 2006 10-k, Pg 5
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