Overall, since the beginning of 2009, about 7,100 U.S. hotels have been reflagged, amounting to about one in every seven properties.

The recent increase reflects a U.S. lodging market roiled by a combination of the largest economic downturn to hit the U.S. since the Great Depression and its ensuing rebound as well as an abnormally active acquisitions market last year.

Franchisers who had given owners a free pass of sorts by letting them delay property improvements during the economic downturn have been getting antsy. “That patience has come to an end. So many brands are terminating or not renewing agreements,”  Bjorn Hanson, divisional dean of New York University’s school of tourism and hospitality management.