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In a bid to augment its portfolio, Choice Hotels International Inc. (CHH - Snapshot Report) recently launched 46 refurbished Choice branded properties in collaboration with Colony Capital LLC, Colony Financial Inc. and Aimbridge Hospitality.

Positioned in various places like Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North and South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia, these hotels were previously operating under the Jameson Inns brand. Now, 42 hotels are running under the company’s Quality Inn hotels brand while other four properties are currently under the Comfort Inn hotels and Econo Lodge hotels.

Aimbridge Hospitality will be engaged in controlling and managing the operations of these 46 Choice branded properties. The guest counts for these renovated hotels are expected to improve significantly in response to new hotel designs.

Silver Spring, Maryland-based Choice Hotels, the leading franchisor of hotel properties, operates under a wide range of brands like Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality, Clarion, Sleep Inn, Econo Lodge, Rodeway Inn, MainStay Suites, Suburban Extended Stay Hotel, Cambria Suites and Ascend Collection. This agreement would help further enhance its upscale brands.

Earlier in third-quarter 2012, the company unveiled as many as 76 franchised hotels across seven countries including Australia, Canada, France, Lithuania, Mexico, New Zealand and Switzerland and 26 states. Moreover, the company has inked 89 agreements locally, which represents an increase of 13% year over year.

As of Sept 30, 2012, Choice Hotels International has franchised around 6,199 hotels, while 360 hotels remain under construction, or have been approved for development in U.S.

Choice Hotels carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). There are various other hoteliers who are also trying to expand their businesses further including Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. (HOT - Analyst Report), Intercontinental Hotels Group plc (IHG - Snapshot Report) and The Marcus Corporation (MCS - Snapshot Report). All these stocks also carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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