ROCKVILLE, Md., Sept. 10, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Choice Hotels International, Inc. (NYSE: CHH), one of the world's leading hotel companies, announced today that Comfort Inn will join Comfort Suites in implementing a 100-percent smoke-free policy beginning July 1, 2016, making Comfort the largest hotel brand in the United States to do so with more than 1,700 properties across the country. Becoming the largest hotel brand to provide a smoke-free environment reinforces the Comfort brand's commitment to wellness and helping travelers feel refreshed while on the road.
"This smoke-free initiative is the latest in a series of bold steps the Comfort brand is taking to enhance the guest experience and deliver the needs of today's business and leisure travelers," said Anne Smith, vice president of brand strategy for Choice Hotels. "In weighing this decision, we looked closely at guest feedback and hotel performance after Comfort Suites properties went completely smoke-free in 2007 and contrasted that with findings based on similar research performed this year. We learned a lot about attitudes toward non-smoking policies at hotels and found that, not only have preferences for smoke-free environments continued to increase, but smokers themselves are more likely to choose 100-percent smoke-free accommodations. These insights could potentially offer hoteliers operational advantages such as better room condition and cleanliness, fewer customer complaints and easier inventory management."
This move comes closely on the heels of the Comfort brand's recent unveiling of its new tagline -- Rested. Set. Go. -- which underscores the brand's promise to keep guest wellness top of mind, ensuring they feel refreshed and ready to take on the day. As further support of the brand promise, the Comfort brand is rolling out lemon-infused ice water stations in all hotel lobbies as well as new additions to the Comfort brand's complimentary hot breakfast which will include fresh, healthy options such as Greek yogurt, healthy branded cereals, and a selection of toppings such as nuts, granola, and dried fruit. Guests will soon be able to enjoy the new RAIO™ line of bath and hair products, developed specifically for Comfort hotels and featuring a citrus-mint fragrance to delight the senses. Larger, plusher towels and new shower curtains are also components of the upgraded bath experience to meet the expectations of the upper midscale guest.
These enhancements to the guest experience are all part of the sweeping Comfort brand transformation which is driving higher than ever guest satisfaction scores and heightened developer interest. In the last 18 months alone, Choice Hotels and Comfort franchisees have invested more than $250 million into existing hotels to make the Comfort guest experience better than ever. Moreover, nearly 300 properties that qualified to receive funds from Choice's landmark $40 million property improvement incentive announced in May 2013 completed the work by the end of 2014. These newly renovated hotels have been seeing solid gains across key performance metrics, including guest satisfaction ratings, RevPAR and RevPAR Index. By the end of the year, nearly 600 hotel properties that didn't fit the long-term direction of the brand will have exited the Comfort system since 2010. And a boom in new construction agreements aims to replace older, underperforming hotels with new, higher performing properties in those markets.
Comfort Inn®: Rested. Set. Go.™
When you travel, what do you need to be ready for the day ahead? At Comfort Inn® hotels we think we've got a pretty good idea. Like friendly staff, comfortable rooms, and amenities you can count on, for a start. Can't decide if you want a soft or firm pillow? Don't worry—your bed has both. Our premium bedding will leave you rested and refreshed in the morning, just in time to enjoy our signature free hot breakfast. Now, if you can't decide which waffle to try first, we suggest flipping a coin—because both the original and flavored are delicious.
With all the amenities you need, and hotels everywhere you want to be, Comfort Inn will get you rested and ready for anything. After all, behind every great day is a great night.
Comfort Suites®: Rested. Set. Go.™
Bigger really is better. And at Comfort Suites hotels, you'll find more of the space you need to spread out, relax or work—25% more space than a traditional room, to be exact. Stretch out on the sofa, be productive at the desk or kick back in our premium bedding. Comfort Suites hotels have the essentials you need to stay on your game and to be your best.
As all-suites, 100% smoke free hotels, every Comfort Suites hotel has the extra space you need with the extras you want—like a refrigerator and a microwave in the convenience of your own suite, and a fitness center and pool in just about every hotel to help you stay active while you're on the go. Don't forget to start your day off right with a free hot breakfast—and our signature waffles that are always a favorite—and get the fuel you need to be ready for the day ahead. Because behind every great day is a great night.
About Choice Hotels
Choice Hotels International, Inc.® (NYSE: CHH) is one of the world's largest lodging companies. With more than 6,300 hotels franchised in 35 countries and territories, we represent more than 500,000 rooms around the globe. As of June 30, 2015, 613 hotels were in our development pipeline. Our company's Ascend Hotel Collection®, Cambria® hotels & suites, Comfort Inn®, Comfort Suites®, Sleep Inn®, Quality®, Clarion®, MainStay Suites®, Suburban Extended Stay Hotel®, Econo Lodge® and Rodeway Inn® brands provide a spectrum of lodging choices to meet guests' needs. With more than 23 million members and counting, check out our Choice Privileges® rewards program to see how you can reap the benefits of being a member of the Choice Hotels® family. All hotels are independently owned and operated. Visit us at www.choicehotels.com for more information.
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SOURCE Choice Hotels International, Inc.