Compared to the same period in 2019, Choice Hotels International, Inc.’s (NYSE: CHH) upmarket brands, the Ascend Hotel Collection and Cambria Hotels, increased their domestic systemwide RevPAR index share in 2021. Simultaneously, both brands increased the number of upscale domestic hotels by 13% year over year, excluding the impact of AMResorts® properties that ceased operations following the acquisition. The success of Ascend, a global portfolio of resort, boutique, and historic hotels, and Cambria, a brand focused on contemporary travelers seeking a uniquely local experience, reaffirms the company’s strategic commitment to increasing this revenue-intensive market.
Throughout 2021 and the fourth quarter, Choice’s upmarket brands achieved several important milestones, including the following:
- Ascend Hotel Collection further cemented its position as the world’s largest soft brand, increasing its domestic unit count by 15% year over year, excluding the impact of the withdrawal of AMResorts® hotels following the acquisition. The company currently operates 325 hotels globally, having added many mountains, lakes, and bay retreats last year, ranging from Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay to North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Along with surpassing local competition throughout 2021, Ascend eclipsed 2019 RevPAR levels in the fourth quarter, earning a 14% increase in the average daily rate and outperforming the upscale sector by over 16 percentage points in RevPAR growth.
- Cambria Hotels experienced its best RevPAR index share growth in the brand’s history in 2021, owing to increases in occupancy and average daily rate indexes. Cambria increased their RevPAR index share by nearly 12 percentage points compared to local competition over the year. Additionally, the brand continues to create positive unit growth for Choice, expanding to 57 properties and introducing eight new hotels in 2021. At the year’s conclusion, the brand had 17 projects under active construction, including six groundbreakings, four of which occurred in the fourth quarter. The brand anticipates opening approximately ten new hotels across the country in 2022.
According to Janis Cannon, senior vice president, Upscale Brands, Choice Hotels, despite another challenging year for the industry, Ascend, and Cambria not only outperformed their local competitors in RevPAR growth but also outperformed the upscale chain scale in RevPAR growth as they continue to provide a category-defining experience to guests. Their continuing success at the upmarket level, especially in uncertain times, demonstrates that their strategy and commitment to expanding these brands succeed. Hotel owners are attracted to Ascend and Cambria’s great value offering, while visitors are increasingly choosing these brands for their next journey due to the distinctive local experience and exclusive amenities they offer. The brand is looking forward to delivering these cherished brands to other premier places where owners wish to build and customers wish to come.
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