By Colleen Isherwood, Editor
LAS VEGAS — “What's a french-fry-zee?” asked the one of the two youngsters in suits and ties, peering over his notes in a boardroom interview with Choice Hotels International CEO Steve Joyce and president and COO Pat Pacious.
The filmed interview was part of a business session that featured children, from young Joshua and Harrison doing the interview, to a nine-year-old piano prodigy, to a seven-year old boy and nine-year-old girl doing salsa dancing and a 15-year-old girl singing opera.
Children have a lot to teach us about embracing change and being Future Ready, Joyce and Pacious told the crowded Mandalay Bay ballroom at the Choice Hotels International Convention yesterday.
“When I played football in high school, I learned that when you succeed it's because you're better prepared, that hard work pays off, and if you have a great team behind you, it's a lot easier to win,” said Joyce.
“Those two kids are fearless,” said Pacious, referring to the two boys who conducted the board room interview. “As we grow older, we become more intimidated and less eager to try new things. We should harness that childhood fearlessness and use it in our businesses.”
The business session also featured a game, in which sectors of the audience were asked to respond to questions about CHI. Playing the game, delegates learned the following:
– Quality is both the largest and fastest growing of the Choice brands, with 93 per cent awareness among Americans and with new hotels raising customer scores.
– Econo Lodge, Mainstay, Suburban and Rodeway are all performing well, with Rodeway and Econo Lodge both doubling their revenue contribution last year.
– Choice Hotels has 339 upscale hotels internationally. The upscale brands include the Ascend Collection and Cambria Suites.
– Three years ago, the Comfort brand began a “gutsy plan” to improve the brand and expand it. Comfort has had the top rating among its competitors for 30 consecutive months.