RED ROOF RENOS HALFWAY HOME

Red Roof Inns is nearly at the halfway point of the $200-million renovation program it launched in 2004. So far, the company has spent more than $100 million renovating 12,000-plus rooms in several major markets, including Baltimore, Chicago, Philadelphia and Detroit.

Last month, the chain completed its 100th redo at a Red Roof in West Palm Beach, FL. The $1.5-million renovation was started before Hurricane Wilma ripped through the area last October, destroying nearly all of the property's renovated rooms. The damaged rooms were redone, and the renovation project also included a number of new safety measures, including installation of hurricane-proof safety glass that can sustain winds up to 140 mph.

Red Roof's national renovation plan encompasses both guestrooms and lobbies. The new-look Red Roof lobby has a flat panel TV that's tuned to cable news, comfortable seating and premium coffee service.

The biggest changes are in the guestrooms, which have been updated and equipped with features aimed at both guest comfort and efficiency. Design touches include blond furnishings, granite countertops, bold wall colors, pewter-finished light fixtures and updated bathrooms with rounded shower rods.

Other enhancements include premium bedding, additional TV offerings (including video-on-demand, pay-per-view, Internet TV, iGames and digital music-on-demand) and Wi-Fi service through a partnership with T-Mobile Hot Spot. In addition, the chain's Business King Rooms feature ergonomic work chairs, an L-shaped desk that faces the TV and a built-in microwave and refrigerator.

The company says it will complete renovations on all 350 properties in the chain over the next few years.

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