Choice Hotels International Inc.’s extended-stay portfolio, which includes economy brands WoodSpring Suites and Suburban Extended Stay as well as midscale brands MainStay Suites and Everhome Suites, continued in 2020 to outperform the industry amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The success of Choice Hotels’ extended-stay brands and strong developer interest reaffirms that its strategic commitment and continued investments in this highly cycle-resilient segment are driving a competitive advantage, according to the company.
“Our strategy to focus on the extended-stay segment continues to pay off, as evidenced by our brands’ resiliency and outperformance compared to the industry in this unprecedented environment,” said Ron Burgett, SVP, franchise development, extended stay, Choice Hotels. “Hotel developers recognize the value of our brands, which is why we awarded nearly 110 extended-stay franchise agreements last year, validating our strategic focus on the segment. Choice gained key insights from the WoodSpring Suites brand when it was acquired over three years ago, and has successfully leveraged those learnings. We’re optimistic about the growth potential of our extended-stay portfolio in both new construction and conversion opportunities.”
Choice Hotels’ extended-stay brands—led by WoodSpring Suites, its largest brand in the segment—demonstrated their resilient performance last year with notable gains:
- In fourth-quarter 2020, the extended-stay portfolio outperformed the industry’s RevPAR change by 49 percentage points and achieved RevPAR index share gains of 14 percentage points versus its local competitors, year-over-year. The portfolio achieved average weekly occupancy rates of more than 70% since the onset of the pandemic in mid-March through Dec. 31, 2020—exceeding the industry weekly average by 30 percentage points.
- WoodSpring Suites achieved an average occupancy rate of 72% for 2020, compared to the U.S. hotel industry average of 44%. Further, WoodSpring experienced year-over-year RevPAR growth of 2% in December.
- MainStay Suites captured more than 20 percentage points in RevPAR index share gains versus its local competitors, year-over-year, both for fourth-quarter and full-year 2020.
- Suburban Extended Stay experienced year-over-year occupancy increases throughout the second half of the year, with a 210 basis points gain in fourth-quarter 2020.
In addition to the outperformance of Choice Hotels’ extended-stay brands against the industry and driving gains versus local competitors throughout 2020, the portfolio continues to rapidly expand:
- WoodSpring Suites, MainStay Suites and Suburban Extended Stay combined to open 44 hotels last year to reach nearly 450 domestic hotels. The extended-stay portfolio has almost quadrupled in size over the last five years and now represents nearly 8% of the company’s total domestic portfolio.
- The extended-stay domestic pipeline reached more than 315 hotels as of Dec. 31, 2020, with planned development across the country in major markets. Choice recently signed the largest multi-unit transaction in MainStay’s history, which significantly increased the brand’s presence in the extended-stay segment. Last year alone, MainStay’s domestic portfolio expanded to 90 hotels open, a 23% increase year-over-year, and experienced the highest number of hotel openings in a year in the brand’s history. In addition, the company saw a more than 40% increase in domestic franchise agreements activity for Suburban brand for full-year 2020 vs. the prior year.
- Choice’s newest brand, Everhome Suites launched last year as the first brand to enter the midscale extended-stay space in nearly a decade. Choice awarded four Everhome franchise agreements in December alone, highlighting increased interest in the new brand.
“Our extended-stay brands are purpose-built for long-term guests, and the demand for long-term rooms in various stay occasions, such as colleges and universities, has increased along with requirements for social distancing,” said Anna Scozzafava, VP/general manager, extended stay, Choice Hotels. “We’re proud to offer hotels that suit guests’ needs and lifestyles, irrespective of the travel landscape. Our brands are designed to provide comfort, convenience and in-room features that are essential when away for a night, a week, a month or longer—including kitchens, on-site laundry facilities and food and beverage options that meet extended-stay guests’ preferences while enabling owners to operate efficiently and maintain margins regardless of the economic climate.”