Welcome To The Econo Lodge Franchisees Association of America (ELFA)

Your Voice Your Choice

The Econo Lodge Franchisees Association of America (ELFA) has been an active force representing Econo Lodge franchisees since 1974. An independent association, ELFA is dedicated to strengthening the Econo Lodge brand and creating a healthy operating environment for member franchisees.

Learn About Membership

We maintain open lines of communication with corporate, ensure franchisees are up to date on important activity, help create profitable operating environments for members and advocate for franchisee concerns

Our Leadership

A new ELFA leadership board was elected in 2015 at the Choice Hotels International Convention to serve the association for the next two years. Meet your board, and connect with your regional directors.

Association Sponsors

Our Association Sponsors play an important role in assisting franchisees with resources and tools that help us optimize our businesses and maximize our investments. See what they have to offer ELFA members.

The Econo Lodge Franchisees Association of America

What Members Say


ELFA is an incredible organization that advocates for their members. They really help us be more successful in our business.

Alice Patel - General Manager

Latest News

Choice Hotels Brand Update

Econo Lodge Area Manager Webinar Series Continue Tuesday June 8th

Tuesday June 8th: Sales and Smart Marketing – It’s Easier Than You Think (Register Here)

“Guest Resolution Tips and Tricks – How to Tell the Whole Story” webinar has passed. You can access a PDF of shared slides here.

Commitment to Clean Program –

Choice Hotels has been actively promoting this Commitment to Clean status to both the general public and its array of corporate business sales, much of which benefits our Econo Lodge brand. Please ensure that your property is taking the necessary steps to comply with this critical program, as the message is going over very favorably with guests and potential guests.

Please follow this link to the Choice Commitment to Clean Hub to access the training module. You must have an active Choice University student account, and be logged in to that account, to access and complete the training module.

Please continue to visit Choice Central and elfa.org for regular updates and access to industry resources.

Choice Hotels Emergency / Financial Franchisee Assistance –

The Covid virus has affected almost every aspect of the hotel industry and related businesses, and shows no signs of letting up in the coming winter months based on current activity and prognoses.

If you are in need of financial relief or fee relief assistance in the face of pending tax bills and heavily curtailed revenue, please connect with Matt Martin of Choice Hotels, who is managing inquiries for all Econo Lodge and Rodeway Inn hotels. You can reach Matt via e-mail at matthew.martin@choicehotels.com. Please let us at ELFA know if you have connected. We are eager to assess the effectiveness of this support for members and are happy to assist in any capacity.

ELFA Update

We continue to gather and share as much relevant information as we can with members to help navigate through these troubled days, and position best for whatever may lie ahead.

ELFA Scholarship Program Now Taking Applications

The Econo Lodge Franchisee Association (ELFA) Scholarship is awarded to a deserving student that has been positively influenced by Econo Lodge. The scholarship is open to employees and family members of an Econo Lodge franchise, excluding the ELFA Board and Regional Directors. Scholarship applicants must be entering or enrolled in an accredited college or technical school for the coming 2021-2022 year.

ELFA is awarding up to five scholarships at up to $1,000 each for the upcoming collegiate year.

Scholarship applicants will be evaluated upon their high school and college transcripts, participation in extracurricular activities and volunteer work, and the essay.

Please download and print the following application. All applications must be postmarked no later than June 15, 2021 to be considered for an award.
You can also find a copy of the 2021 Scholarship application at www.elfa.org.

Choice Global Sales RFP Season Active Until May 31st

Choice’s Global Sales team has been very active on behalf of Choice’s economy brands, with significant business continuing to flow to our Econo Lodge brand. The new RFP season went active March 1st and continues through May 31st.

Please take time to visit the Global Sales Home page on Choice Central, where you will find links to many of their services, tutorials, and forms that can be critical elements to taking advantage of all potential opportunities that the market has to offer.

If you have any questions about your standing with Global Sales, or seek additional corporate opportunities and assistance on the RFP process, including CLC and/or government / emergency lodging opportunities, please connect with your Area Manager or a member of the Global Sales team. They are waiting to connect.

Are You Hearing Regularly from ELFA?

ELFA sends out e-mails regularly to its Econo Lodge franchisee members with important brand updates and notices on a wide variety of pressing operational matters. While we do not overload with e-mails, we at least reach out once per month.

If you are not receiving e-mails or correspondences from ELFA in this fashion, please reach out to us and let us know so that we can update your contact information. Please include your property code so we can best update and ensure delivery.

Control Your Advance Purchase Rate Availability –

It has come to our attention that a number of properties are receiving day-of Advance Purchase Rate (APR) bookings via SAPR1 and SAPR2 rate codes. If you need to eliminate this day-of opportunity, or otherwise adjust your advance booking discount window, please visit these rate codes in Rates Center and adjust.

Please take time to review your promotional rate codes and parameters. For the SAPR rates, please ensure that your “Minimum Booking” field is checked, and the advance days that work best for your property are present. If this field is unchecked, the system will place no limits on the advance window, allowing for same day bookings.

2021 ELFA Membership Billing – The ELFA Board of Directors has voted to postpone our annual billing from our normal time in January to April 2021. Your continued support is crucial in our efforts to work with our franchisor Choice Hotels towards creating the best operating environment possible for our membership. Please stay tuned for additional information on 2021 ELFA membership billing. As always, ELFA allows for opting out of membership at any time, even following billing, with no penalties or interest. The greater our participation rate, the stronger our voice.

Breakfast / Coffee Requirement – Choice Hotels has updated their brand standards for Econo Lodge. Beginning October 1st, Econo Lodge properties must have complementary coffee available for all guests in its lobby during breakfast hours. Coffee must be provided in either liquid concentrate or air pod form. Large open carafes will no longer be acceptable.

Breakfast items in addition to coffee is not a requirement at this time, and there is no timetable or set plan in place to resume this for the brand. Corporate has stated that they will monitor activity of brand performance compared with our competition, and may revisit this requirement down the road if our position falters.

Commitment to Clean Program / Certification Update –
If your property has not started or not yet completed the Commitment to Clean Captain certification program, please do so as quickly as possible. We are 60 days past this certification deadline and will be entering into territory that could bring about penalties and/or fines to your property.

Individual Hand Sanitizer Bottle Requirement Update –
While Choice Hotels is still requiring the purchase and distribution of this new product upon request by a guest, Choice is also allowing for, and preparing professional signage to accompany, the sales of these bottles to guests for $1 each.

The ELFA Board has voiced strong opposition to any new unfunded mandates for our franchisees, so we are very pleased that Choice has allowed for Econo Lodges to promote these items for sale in our lobbies, turning a loss into potential ongoing revenue. We are aware of other properties in the system who have been selling these items already, and guests have been very thankful for the opportunity to purchase as it may save them a stop in a crowded convenience store or pharmacy while traveling. Be on the lookout for more communications on this item from Choice Hotels.

3 Steps to Help Your Property with Group Visibility –
While group and conference travel has been heavily curtailed in 2020, there remain opportunities still, and we do not know what 2021 may have to offer here. Please take the following steps to help ensure your property is sharing the best information possible with potential decision-makers.

  1. Update your property’s CVent Profile
  2. Respond to ALL queries and requests from Choice Sales – often the first to respond gets the business – don’t delay.
  3. Ensure your property has active SGRP1 and SGRP2 rate plans.

Front Desk / Night Window – If your property has a night window, we suggest that this be utilized for all guest interactions and transactions and that lobbies remain closed. You should be protected from chargebacks with the use of EMV machines even without a signature by utilizing the Signature On File (SOF) feature (guest signature should be on folio).

Attached is a notice for guests to acknowledge that has been circulating from hotels that can be put to use at your property to better assist in communicating local government mandates and cutbacks in services and amenities. It is in Word form so you can edit your property info as needed.

Room Cleaning / Amenities by Request – With stayover guests, please offer housekeeping services only by request. Amenities for stayovers can be provided via night window or drop offs to room exteriors.

Ecolab has provided an excellent video for back of house preparation and cleaning regimens, including an extensive Q&A at the end. It is a longer video coming in just under one hour, but it does offer excellent tips and insight.

AAHOA Covid-19 Resource Page Update

The Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA), the largest hotel advocacy group in the US, is providing resources and information to assist all hoteliers, whether you are a member of AAHOA or not.

Please visit the AAHOA Covid-19 Resource Center for industry updates and access to live and ongoing webcasts and other resources.

PPP Second Draw Guidance & Updates (NEW)

The Small Business Administration (SBA) announced that the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) will reopen the week of January 11. All participating lenders are expected to gain access to the program on or after January 13.

New PPP borrowers can submit your application on Monday, January 11. If you have already exhausted your first PPP loan, the process for second draw will be available beginning Wednesday, January 13.

Find out more from AAHOA’s Cares Act & Lending Page on this new development.

AAHOA has helpful industry webcasts scheduled almost daily. Please visit their Resource Page for registration links to upcoming Webcasts and for access to view past webcasts. These include top professionals from throughout the industry and have proven very helpful in gaining a better understanding of what is unfolding and what resources are out there to assist.

ELFA has worked closely with AAHOA on industry and franchise issues throughout the years, and we will continue to work closely with and rely on them for their knowledge and expertise as we head further into uncharted waters, and share resources with our members as they become available.