Choice’s business began as a marketing cooperative formed by a group of seven Florida motor court owners in 1939. Operating under the name Quality Courts United — the nation’s first hotel chain — the owners sought to refer business to each other’s hotels and establish service standards for their properties in order to better meet the needs and expectations of their guests. Over the years, more hotels joined the Quality Courts system, which had become an influential force in the lodging industry and had established a reputation for providing value-driven, affordable lodging in convenient and popular locations. The company established a rich history of innovation, as it was the first in the industry to guarantee reservations, offer 24-hour desk service, in room telephones and 24-hour-a-day, toll-free reservations, segment brands, develop a global marketing and reservations system, offer non-smoking rooms in every hotel, develop the first global hotel application for use with the iphone, and the first massively-distributed, Internet-based property management system.

  • 1930’S – 1950’S

  • 1939 Seven Southern motel owners create Quality Courts, an informal group of motels that set quality standards with respect to physical facilities and operating practices.
  • 1941 Members formally found Quality Courts United, Inc., an association that would be comprised of independent owners, and set the criteria of membership, creating the country’s first hotel chain.
  • EARLY 1950’S Quality Courts becomes the first to offer to the industry such innovations as wall-to-wall carpeting, daily change of linen, 24-hour desk service, and in-room telephones.
  • 1960’S – 1970’S

  • 1963 Quality Courts goes from a non-profit organization to a for-profit corporation and changes its name to Quality Courts Motels, Inc. Stock is sold for the first time to members and employees.
  • 1969 Quality Courts’ membership increases to more than 24,000 rooms, making it the largest association of independent motel operators in the world.
  • 1970 Quality Courts establishes a European Division Headquarters in Brussels and establishes Quality Motels of Canada. Quality Courts begins offering 24-hour, toll-free central reservations.
  • 1972 Quality Courts Motels changes its name to Quality Inn International to reflect its growing global presence. The company’s first European hotel, the Quality Motel in Rattigan, West Germany, opens.
  • 1980’S

  • 1981 Quality Inn develops the successful and innovative strategy of market segmentation and divides its lodging system into three distinctive chains: Quality Royale, a luxury brand; Quality Inn, for the moderately-priced, three-star market; and Comfort Inn, a new budget franchise aimed at the luxury budget two-star market.’ The first Comfort Inn hotel opens later that year in Atlanta.
  • 1983 The Sunburst central reservation system is introduced and accounts for 23% of all room sales delivered to franchisees in the first year of operation. Sunburst is the industry's first global marketing and reservations system.
  • 1986 Quality Inn buys the rights to the Clarion Hotels name, and all Quality Royale properties become Clarion brand properties. Quality Inn launches another brand, which would become Sleep Inn. Quality Inn announces the launch of Comfort Suites, an outgrowth of the Comfort Inn brand. The first Comfort Suites hotel opens in Anaheim, California.
  • 1987 Quality Inn International enters the market in India.
  • 1989 Quality Inn becomes the world's third largest hotel chain by number of rooms.
  • 1990’S

  • 1990 Quality Inn International renamed as Choice Hotels International.
  • 1993 The 1000th Comfort Inn hotel opens in Albany, Georgia. Choice enters into a 50/50 joint venture in Canada to form Choice Hotels Canada, which is now Canada's largest franchisor, with over 250 hotels open.
  • 1994 Choice Hotels Scandinavia enters into an agreement with Choice and opens 8 hotels. Choice enters the Central American markets of El Salvador, Honduras,Guatemala, Nicaragua and Costa Rica through its master franchise partner, Grupo Real.
  • 1995 Choice Hotels launches ChoiceHotels.com, the first Web site in the lodging industry to offer real-time access to a central reservation system.
  • 1996 Choice is spun off from Manor Care as a separate publicly traded company with its own board of directors and traded management structure. Nov. 4, 1996, Choice stock begins trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol CHH. Choice Hotels launches MainStay Suites, the first mid-market, extended stay lodging product developed and franchised by a major chain. Choice enters the Brazilian market where it now franchises properties via a partnership with Atlantic Hotels. Choice enters into amaster franchise agreement providing its master partner with the rights to franchise under the corporate name Choice Hotels Europe in the United Kingdom. In 1998, existing franchises in continental Europe and development rights for the Choice brands for those countries were transferred to the partner. At the end of the year, Choice franchises 3,052 hotels in more than 30 countries.
  • 1997 Choice launches Profit Manager, its automated property management system.Vessel Co., Ltd., enters into a relationship with Choice Hotels to develop the Sleep brand in the Chugoku, Shikoku, Kyushu and Okinawa districts of Japan.
  • 1998 Charles A. Ledsinger Jr. is named president and chief executive officer and a member of the board of directors for Choice Hotels. Choice launches its Choice Privileges rewards program.
  • 1999 Choice builds The Learning Center, a $2.5 million, 11,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art training facility, and introduces Total Lodging by Choice, an orientation program designed for first-time Choice franchisees and general managers.
  • 2000’S

  • 2003 Choice first deploys ChoiceADVANTAGE, its proprietary Web-based property management system.Choice Hotels acquires a controlling interest in Flag Choice Hotels, a leading hotel franchisor in Australia and New Zealand. The company changes its name in 2004 to Choice Hotels Australasia and begins franchising Choice brands in Australia, New Zealand,American Samoa, Fiji, New Caledonia and Papau New Guinea. Choice launches its partnershipwith Choice Hotels Japan as the master partner for that country.
  • 2004 Choice Hotels Mexico, a subsidiary of Choice Hotels International, is formed.
  • 2005 Choice launches a new select service, upscale brand, Cambria Suites. Choice opens its 5000th hotel, a Comfort Suites in Lake Geneva, Wis. Choice acquires Suburban Extended Stay Hotel, an economy extended-stay brand. Choice becomes largest franchisor in the economy extended-stay market.
  • 2007 First Cambria Suites hotel opens.
  • 2008 Stephen P. Joyce is named president and chief executive officer and a member of the board of directors of Choice Hotels International. Choice Hotels launches the Ascend Collection, an upscale network of historic, boutique and unique hotels across the United States, Canada and the Caribbean.Choice reacquires franchising operations for the United Kingdom.
  • 2009 Choice is named by Training Magazine to its Top 125 list, marking the fourth year in a row the company was ranked among the top businesses nationwide in the area of employer-sponsored workforce training and development.The companyopens its 6,000 franchised property, the Quality Inn of Chicago Magnificent Mile, an Ascend Collection hotel. Choice Hotels launches the industry's first global iPhone application. The free application quickly becomes one of the most downloaded travel applications.


  • 2010’S

  • 2010 Choice introduces a completely re-designed ChoiceHotels.com website. President and Chief Executive Officer Steve Joyce is named national chairman of the U.S. Travel Association, the 1,500 member national organization representing every segment of the travel community. The Choice Privileges rewards program reaches the 10-million-member milestone. The company finishes 2010 with 12 million Choice Privileges members.
  • 2011 Choice receives a Visionary Award from Hospitality Technology magazine for its “outstanding vision in achievement in delivering technological excellence” for its proprietary choiceADVANTAGE property management system, in place at over 4,000 hotels worldwide.
  • 2012 The company’s Choice Privileges rewards program celebrates 15 million members.
  • 2013 The company moves to its new global headquarters at One Choice Hotels Circle in Rockville, Maryland.
  • 2014 Choice Hotels expands its international footprint into China and Turkey, now franchising in more than 35 countries and territories.
  • 2015 The Choice Privileges rewards program reaches 22 million. “Connect the world through the power of hospitality.” Choice develops a new single brand identity to make a more emotional connection with its consumers and franchisees, drive greater preference for its portfolio of brands and better position the company to stretch into new markets to capitalize on opportunities for growth. For Choice it’s all about making people feel welcome, wanted andrespected.