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Choice Hotels Adds 46 Hotels to Family of Brands

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Lodging giant Choice Hotels International (NYSE: CHH) announced today the addition of 46 hotels to its family of brands. Under an agreement reached with affiliates of Colony Capital, LLC, including Colony Financial, Inc., and hospitality management company Aimbridge Hospitality, the properties will be franchised under the Quality Inn, Comfort Inn and Econo Lodge brands. The addition of these hotels, which all formerly operated as Jameson Inns, is Choice Hotels' largest single conversion transaction, excluding brand acquisitions.

"This is a significant addition of hotels to our system and a true testament to the strength of our brands," says Steve Joyce, President and CEO of Choice Hotels International. "Investors, developers and franchisees know the great value our brands deliver. We are thrilled to bring these hotels into our system and to be working with two prominent hotel companies."

Thomas J. Barrack, Jr., Chairman and CEO of Colony, said, "While we considered many brands for our hotels, we recognized that Choice is a leader in the midscale lodging segment and are delighted to be franchising with them."

The newly Choice-branded hotels are located in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. Under this agreement, the hotels will be managed by Dallas-based Aimbridge Hospitality, one of the nation's leading hotel management firms. 

"We view this as a tremendous opportunity to reposition these properties and enhance their operating performance as well as expand our relationship with Choice Hotels," said Dave Johnson, President and CEO of Aimbridge Hospitality. "In doing so this collaboration will help open the door to pursue additional investment and management opportunities together."

Under the Quality Inn, Comfort Inn and Econo Lodge brands, the renovated hotels will provide for an enhanced guest experience.  Forty-two properties will operate as Quality Inn hotels, two as Comfort Inn hotels and two will be branded as Econo Lodge hotels.

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