ROCKVILLE, MD–Choice’s Hotels International, Inc.’s upscale brands, the Ascend Hotel Collection and Cambria Hotels, achieved domestic systemwide RevPAR index share gains versus its local competitors in 2021 compared to the same period of 2019. At the same time, both brands combined to expand the number of domestic upscale hotels by 13% year-over-year, excluding the impact of AMResorts® properties’ exit following its acquisition. The success of Ascend, a global portfolio of resort, boutique and historic hotels, and Cambria, designed for modern travelers with a distinct local experience, further confirms the company’s strategic focus on growing this revenue-intense segment.
“Despite another challenging year for our industry, Ascend and Cambria not only drove RevPAR outperformance versus their local competitors, they also outperformed the upscale chain scale in RevPAR growth as they continue to offer guests a category-defining experience,” said Janis Cannon, senior vice president, upscale brands, Choice Hotels. “Our continued upscale success, even amid times of uncertainty, proves that our strategy and commitment to growing these brands is working. Hotel owners are drawn to the strong value proposition that Ascend and Cambria provide, while guests are increasingly selecting these brands for their next adventure because they love the uniquely local experience and upscale amenities they offer. We look forward to bringing these beloved brands to more top-notch locations where owners want to develop, and guests want to visit.”
Choice’s upscale brands experienced several notable achievements throughout 2021 and in the fourth quarter, including:
- Ascend Hotel Collection continued to solidify its position as the world’s largest soft brand, expanding its domestic unit count by 15% year-over-year, excluding the impact of AMResorts® properties’ exit following its acquisition. The brand now features 325 hotels open worldwide, adding several mountain, lake and bay retreats, from the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland to the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina, to the collection last year. In addition to outperforming local competitors throughout 2021, in the fourth quarter, Ascend exceeded 2019 RevPAR levels, achieving a 14% increase in average daily rate, and outperformed the upscale segment by nearly 16 percentage points in RevPAR growth, compared to the same period of 2019.
- Cambria Hotels achieved its strongest RevPAR index share gains versus local competition in the brands history driven by both occupancy and average daily rate index gains in 2021. For the year, Cambria achieved RevPAR index share gains versus local competition of over 12 percentage points compared to 2019. The brand also continued to drive positive unit growth for Choice, expanding to 57 hotels, debuting eight hotels in 2021 with 17 projects under active construction at year-end, including six ground breakings with four taking place in the fourth quarter. In 2022, the brand expects to open over 10 new hotels across the country.
“Our success throughout 2021 proves our upscale brands provide an attractive value proposition for current and future owners in practically any economic environment,” said Mark Shalala, senior vice president of development, upscale brands, Choice Hotels. “Ascend allows owners to maintain their independence while improving their reservation delivery and providing access to industry-leading tools and resources, while Cambria affords owners the opportunity to develop new-construction or adaptive reuse hotels in top leisure destinations. Cambria has also recently debuted another opportunity to grow the brand with a new prototype developed specifically for secondary and leisure markets. Just as guests love the brands for their ideal locations and upscale offerings, developers appreciate the value they generate.”