ROCKVILLE, Md., April 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Choice Hotels International, Inc. (NYSE: CHH), one of the world's largest hotel companies, is completing its move to its new global headquarters at 1 Choice Hotels Circle in Rockville, Maryland at Rockville Town Square. The company's more than 400 headquarter employees will begin work here on April 8, 2013.
This move is just 13 miles from the Choice Hotels current headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland. However, it represents a sea of change for the lodging giant which franchises hotel brands that have become household names around the world, including Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality and Econo Lodge as well as newer upscale brands Cambria Suites and Ascend Hotel Collection. That change is reflected in the new workplace which offers a layout designed to encourage collaboration and creativity. Open work areas, high technology and connectivity, and several non-conventional meeting spaces were conceived on the fact that great ideas come from everywhere, not just behind a desk or around a table.
"It's a whole new Choice Hotels," said Stephen P. Joyce, president and CEO of Choice Hotels International. "This move is physical -- as we will be in a state-of-the-art facility that serves our associates and franchisees in ways we've never dreamed of -- but it is also symbolic of our company's evolution across the board. We're making bold moves: from refreshing our well-known hotel brands -- like Comfort Inn and Sleep Inn, our expansion into upscale hotel properties with Ascend Hotel Collection and Cambria Suites -- for which we are currently breaking ground in key urban markets including next door to our new offices, to the creation of our recently announced new business division, SkyTouch Technology."
Upon entering the headquarters, which will occupy six floors of the building, guests and associates will immediately recognize they are at a global hospitality company. Consoles in the reception area were designed in keeping with hotel check-in desks and an international welcome wall features iconic images that capture the character of the locations of Choice Hotels properties around the world. Meeting and gathering spaces throughout incorporate the latest hotel brand design schemes such as fabrics, seating, stonework, warm woods and polished metals. Guests and franchisees will also have use of a business center enabling them to work remotely and even print boarding passes.
Throughout the building, open staircases, airy workspaces with low walls, a myriad of outdoor spaces and indoor non-conference room meeting areas can be found. Wi-Fi is available throughout the building, a move designed to encourage associates to work anywhere that inspires creativity, not just at their workstations. On the fourth floor, an outdoor lounge will feature a state-of-the-art sound system, a fire pit and Wi-Fi. A large multi-functional meeting space and training rooms are equipped with the latest in audio-visual conferencing, projection, lighting and computer tablet controls.
Within the sleek, modern space, the company's rich history will not be forgotten: the color scheme incorporates reds and yellows, a nod to the company's storied past beginning when seven southern motel owners created the informal referral network Quality Courts in 1939 in Florida. On the 5th floor, a history area containing artwork, photographs and artifacts will serve as a de facto museum and constant reminder of the company's roots. Next to the history area, model guest rooms will serve as experiential spaces as well as a way to ensure daily decisions are made with Choice's guests and franchisees in mind.
Designed to meet the guidelines for certification under the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, the facility's sustainability features include water consumption that has been reduced by 40%, locally sourced building materials and controllable lighting and thermostats. Energy consumption will be further offset through Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) sourced from wind power.
The building at 1 Choice Hotels Circle was developed by Rockville-based Foulger-Pratt Companies and designed by WDG Architecture. The Choice Hotels' office space was designed by VOA Associates, the architecture firm behind Choice Hotels' offices in Phoenix, Arizona which serve as the company's global technology hub. Like the Rockville headquarters, the Phoenix branch was based on an open design to help foster innovative ideas and teamwork.
Other parties actively involved with this project include: rand* construction corporation, as the general contractor for the Choice Hotels workplace; AtSite, Inc. as project manager and LEED consultant. Clear Real Estate Services also served as project manager.
Foulger-Pratt and Choice Hotels celebrated the new headquarters ground breaking on August 31, 2011. The building is located in the heart of Rockville Town Square, a 12.5 acre mixed-use development in Montgomery County, Maryland, just minutes from Washington, D.C. Selection of this location was partially based on where their employees live as well as its close proximity to mass transit and airports and its urban walkability during the workday.
The company has been located in Montgomery County since 1968, when it moved into a campus of three separate neighboring buildings it currently occupies on Columbia Pike in Silver Spring, Maryland. Its decision to stay in the D.C. area underscores the Washington area's thriving position, fast becoming home to the U.S. hotel industry. Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley applauded the company's commitment to investing and creating new jobs in the State at the building's groundbreaking ceremony.
About Choice Hotels Choice Hotels International, Inc. franchises approximately 6,200 hotels, representing more than 499,000 rooms, in the United States and more than 30 other countries and territories. As of December 31, 2012, 394 hotels, representing more than 31,000 rooms, were under construction, awaiting conversion or approved for development in the United States. Additionally, 88 hotels, representing approximately 7,800 rooms, were under construction, awaiting conversion or approved for development in more than 20 other countries and territories. The company's Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality, Sleep Inn, Clarion, Cambria Suites, MainStay Suites, Suburban Extended Stay Hotel, Econo Lodge and Rodeway Inn brands, as well at its Ascend Hotel Collection membership program, serve guests worldwide.
Choice Hotels International offers the Choice Privileges® rewards program. With nearly 17 million members worldwide, it is one of the fastest growing loyalty programs in the travel industry.
Additional corporate information may be found on the Choice Hotels International, Inc. website, which may be accessed at www.choicehotels.com.
About The Foulger-Pratt Companies Established in 1963, the Foulger-Pratt Companies represents one of the Washington region's most experienced and diverse real estate firms. The award-winning organization offers sustainable development, construction, asset management, and property management services. Examples of our work include Park Potomac mixed-use development, Downtown Silver Spring Redevelopment, Silver Spring Metro Center, Rockville Metro Plaza, and The Nature Conservancy Headquarters. The Foulger-Pratt Companies is headquartered in Rockville, MD. For more information, visit: www.foulgerpratt.com.
About VOA Associates VOA Associates is a global architectural design firm that blends the capabilities of a multinational company with the care and attention of a boutique studio. VOA creates distinctive, internationally acclaimed spaces that enhance the environment and improve the human experience – places for people to heal, learn, work and play. As one of the greenest architecture firms in the United States, VOA boasts more than 80 LEED APs who actively pursue the highest standard of sustainable design as a responsibility to the planet and future generations. For more information, visit www.voa.com.
About rand* construction corporation Headquartered in Washington, DC, rand* construction corporation is a leading commercial general contractor specializing in building renovations, historic restoration, interior build-outs, design-build services and sustainable construction solutions. Founded in 1989, by Linda Rabbitt, rand* has grown from a small, Arlington-based firm into a $263 million national organization that is licensed to practice in 48 states and has satellite offices in Alexandria, VA; Atlanta, GA; Orlando, FL; Austin, TX; Denver, CO and Wilmington, NC. Over 83% of rand's workload is for repeat clients, which attests to the quality of their 170 project managers, superintendents, and preconstruction professionals. rand* is an innovative leader in the construction and real estate industry via advancements in LEED consulting, Building Information Modeling (BIM), collaborative integrated project delivery, and overall best practices. rand* has received over 100 craftsmanship awards and has been honored repeatedly by organizations such as the Washington Building Congress, the Associated Builders and Contractors and the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties. For more information, please visit www.randcc.com.
Choice Hotels, Choice Hotels International, Choice Privileges, Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality, Sleep Inn, Clarion, Cambria Suites, MainStay Suites, Suburban Extended Stay Hotel, Econo Lodge, Rodeway Inn and Ascend Hotel Collection are proprietary trademarks and service marks of Choice Hotels International.
© 2013 Choice Hotels International, Inc. All rights reserved.
SOURCE Choice Hotels International, Inc.