Country Inn Rolls On

Country Inns & Suites by Carlson is on the move. Under Carlson's Executive Vice President of Select Service Hotels Steve Mogck, the 20-year-old, 430-plus-property brand is returning to the basics as a way to both grow the system and to increase return on investment for franchisees. The initiatives span property design, guest comfort and service and revenue enhancement.

New properties and those undergoing renovations will feature guestroom designs that take the brand from its traditional roots to a more “transitional, traditional feel,” says Mogck. In addition, public areas will feature larger breakfast spaces, more soft seating and a second fireplace.

“Our customers want comfy and cozy,” says Mogck, “and this new look enhances that experience.”

The chain also launched initiatives to help franchisees optimize their revenue streams through technology. Carlson Hotels Worldwide recently beefed up its goldpointsplus guest loyalty program. Under the program, members can earn a free roomnight for spending just $1,000 on room accommodations within the Carlson system.

Mogck says the brand signed 60 franchise deals last year (about a third of them with existing owners) and has 120 properties in the pipeline. About 85 percent of the current system lies in a geographic box that's south of New York to Florida, then west to Texas and north to the Dakotas. The new development emphasis will key on gateway cities in the West, including Phoenix, Dallas, San Antonio, Houston and Los Angeles.

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