Wyndham's loss is Choice Hotels' gain in a 15-hotel brand shuffle. But this type of transaction is still falling short of wider industry expectations.
Wooing existing hotel owners to change brand affiliation — a transaction known as a conversion — is something all the major brands touted early in the pandemic as a potential growth vehicle while construction slowed down. Companies focusing on the limited-service hotel sector like Choice Hotels and Wyndham were the loudest with their conversion intentions. But a recent conversion opportunity pitted the two companies against each other on a 15-property extended-stay hotel portfolio, with Choice emerging as the victor. “As far as conversions, we looked at a lot of flags, but with Choice’s background with extended stay, it made the most sense here,” said Gulf Coast Hotel Management CEO Ian McClure. Gulf Coast Hotel Management inked a deal with Choice Hotels at the end of last year to convert 15 Hawthorn Suites, a Wyndham-owned extended stay brand, in markets like Salt Lake City and Charlotte, North Carolina, to Choice’s MainStay Suites brand.