Choice rebrands Suburban to Suburban Studios

Further capitalizing on the secret sauce discovered when it acquired WoodSpring Suites, Choice Hotels International has announced it is modernizing and rebranding its Suburban Extended Stay franchise brand as a low-cost, flexible conversion model called Suburban Studios to take advantage of what it sees as a big opportunity to grow in the economy extended-stay segment.

The first property is set to open in suburban Chicago this summer and Choice Hotels said it currently has more than 27 in the development pipeline. There are currently 70 existing Suburban Extended Stay properties in its portfolio.

President and CEO Patrick Pacious said he sees this brand getting as big as one of its current extended-stay frontrunner, WoodSpring Suites, because it has been designed to transform existing transient products into extended-stay properties.

Prototype of Suburban Studio guest room.

“The modernization of Suburban signals that the brand is poised for growth, and that Choice is dedicated to expanding its foothold in the extended-stay segment with the best investment opportunity for franchisees and experience for guests,” Pacious said on Tuesday during a virtual press conference. “This is the lowest cost way to convert any room into an extended-stay room and then benefit from the operating model.”

Costs for this conversion brand will be about US$2,700 per room for hard goods and about US$5,000 all-in costs. RevPAR is expected to range from US$30 to US$40. Guests will have access to free high-speed internet, 24/7 laundry facilities and bi-weekly housekeeping.

The modular design of the room is meant to fit any existing hotel room that has six linear feet, and the kitchen-in-a-box is designed to match up with the existing plumbing to control conversion costs.

Suburban Studios’ kitchen-in-a-box works with existing plumbing

Choice highlighted what is sees as the other advantages of the franchise brand:

  • Turnkey development support and flexible prototypes will bring projects to market quickly
  • An efficient operating model will help keep hotels easy and affordable to run
  • A proprietary kitchen-in-a-box design and modular building options has been created to streamline the repositioning process
  • Operational, training, marketing, and technology programs, tools and resources have been tailored to the unique aspects of extended-stay
  • Support from a dedicated conversion sales team with a proprietary site scoring tool can identify markets with the highest return on investment.

“One of the other reasons we are launching Suburban Studios is because land values continue to increase. We have captured that with WoodSpring Suites and still want to be the leader there,” said Ron Burgett, senior vice president, Franchise Development, Extended Stay for Choice Hotels. “But there are times when you want to enter a hot market and you can’t find a piece of land. We think this is a good time to take an existing asset, and there are a lot of them out there, and turn it around.”