Choice opens first dual-brand Sleep Inn/MainStay Suites property

Choice Hotels president & CEO Steve Joyce addresses the opening session at the company's 2015 convention.

Choice Hotels president & CEO Steve Joyce addresses the opening session at the company's 2015 convention.

LAS VEGAS — Choice Hotels announced on May 13 the opening of its first prototype dual-brand hotel under the Sleep Inn and MainStay Suites banners. The announcement came during the company’s 61st annual convention, held May 14-16 at Mandalay Bay, in Las Vegas.

Owned and operated by JTM Hospitality, LLC, the new-build Sleep Inn/MainStay Suites Meridian, Mississippi dual-brand hotel offers 69 guestrooms — 38 rooms under the Sleep Inn & Suites and 31 rooms on the MainStay Suites side.

JTM Hospitality has franchised with Choice Hotels for the past decade. This is the fourth Choice property in its expanding portfolio, with more projects in development.

“Each brand has its own great attributes. The Sleep Inn brand is a select service hotel aimed at shorter guest visits, while the MainStay Suites brand offers amenities for extended stays, both at a great value,” said Jason Wood, lead development partner for JTM Hospitality, in a release.

The hybrid design allows guests to experience two distinctive brands during their stay. For developers, these projects offer construction efficiencies, operational productivity through shared staff and both public space and back-of-house facilities, as well as the ability to tap into diverse customer bases. This allows hoteliers to address multiple travel market demands —business, leisure, transient and extended stay — all under one roof. To that end, the property features a shared fitness centre and meeting and event space for both brands.

At the convention, the Comfort brands unveiled the RAIO line of bath products. These will come in addition to the Comfort brands’ rollout of other enhancements to the guest’s bath experience, complimentary breakfast and overall wellness initiatives.

Exclusive to Comfort Inn and Comfort Suites hotels, RAIO aims to evoke a hip, retail-brand feel and will be available to guests as shampoo, conditioner, body lotion and bar soap. Guest bathrooms will also feature larger, plusher towels and new shower curtains.   

The Comfort brands’ free breakfast offerings, which already rate high in guest satisfaction, are set to improve. In response to guest feedback, new items such as Greek yogurt with healthy toppings like nuts, dried fruits and granola are being added to the menu. The Comfort brands’ guest welcome now includes lemon-infused iced water stations in all hotel lobbies.

The introduction of these latest programs is part of the Comfort brands’ improvement strategy. In recent months, all Comfort Inn and Comfort Suites properties added more bedside device recharge capabilities as a convenience for guests who carry multiple electronic devices.

In other convention news, Choice announced its search to hire for a newly created position this summer, the Ultimate People Person.

This summer, the Ultimate People Person will travel across the U.S., putting his or her gift for gab and passion for people to work, acting as a company spokesperson and brand ambassador for Choice Hotels. Beginning their role at the end of June and working through the end of August, the Ultimate People Person will visit some of America’s coolest cities, such as New York, Las Vegas and Austin, Texas. On his or her journey, the Ultimate People Person will capture and share the stories of thousands of people through Choice Hotels’ blog and social media channels.