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

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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

ELFA Scholarship Program Now Taking Applicatins

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, exluding the ELFA Board of Directors. Scholarship applicants must be entering or enrolled in an accredited college or technical school for the coming 2022-2023 year.

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

All materials must be postmarked by June 15, 2022 for consideration. Up to two scholarships of $1000 each will be awarded to winning submissions, based on review and selection by the ELFA Board of Directors. The ELFA Board of Directors is solely responsible for determining both eligibility and awards, and applicants agree by submitting that the ELFA Board of Directors decisions are final.

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.

Don’t Miss ELFA Events at 2022 Choice Hotels Convention

We are very excited to be getting back together again with our members and Econo Lodge franchisees this coming May at the 2022 Choice Hotels Convention in Las Vegas.

Please make plans to join us for these official ELFA events.
Tuesday May 3rd – 9:00 am – 10:00 am
ELFA Breakfast & Networking Session (Mandalay Bay – Jasmine ABEF)
Tuesday May 3rd – 10:00 am – 11:30 am
ELFA Roundtable & Regional Elections (Mandalay Bay – Jasmine ABEF)
Wednesday May 4th – 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm
ELFA / ROA Member Reception w/ Entertainment by Anis Chandani (Luxor Hotel & Casino Lotus Room)
Thursday May 5th – 1:00 pm – 1:45 pm
Econo Lodge / Rodeway Inn Joint Brand Session (Mandalay Bay – South Seas)

We are thrilled to be partnering with ROA again for a Member Reception on Wednesday from 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm in the Lotus Room at next door Luxor Hotel & Casino. Los Angeles based Anis Chandani will be our entertainment guest as both a performer and DJ, with a dance floor this year for everyone to show off their moves. Catering will once again be provided by our favorite – Rajbhog Foods.

Stay tuned for more Convention updates, including recommended classes for Econo Lodge owners and Choice corporate interactions.

ELFA Convention Schedule

Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERC) Program Update

While many hotel and hospitality businesses took advantage of the Payroll Protection Program (PPP) resulting from the 2020 CARES Act, many businesses have not followed up with an additional tax credit, the ERC, which allows for an employee tax credit resulting from any single quarter revenue being only 20% lower than its corresponding period in 2019.

There has been a lot of confusion around this program, including eligibility and program expiration date. Bottom line is most businesses are eligible, and there is plenty of time to apply.

ELFA has partnered with ERC Today to assist in both determining eligibility and streamlining the application process. If your business experienced a drop of 20% or more for any single quarter in 2020 and 2021 compared to 2019, and you had wage earning employees on staff at the time and filed IRS form 941, you may very well qualify for this payroll tax credit.

Please visit this special link established for ELFA members to inquire and apply today while funding for this program still remains.

Supply Chain Issues?

Supply chain disruptions in the purchase of branded and other required guest products and amenities continues to plague the industry. Choice Hotels leadership is very aware of these issues, and is working to help assist franchisees who are experiencing these setbacks and delays when ordering.

Please reach out to your dedicated Area Manager, and ELFA, to inform them of any challenges you are experiencing in this area. The Choice Franchise Services team is working with and relaying information to procurement and the QAR team, alerting them to potential problems as they occur. Please help both yourself and other franchisees by sharing these issues regularly and freely.

CrowdStrike Non-Compliance Penalties Are Being Assessed

Choice Hotels is issuing $150 monthly fees for properties not in compliance with the CrowdStrike software mandate for all front desk computers.

If you are seeing this fee levied on your monthly invoice, please take steps immediately to resolve. Search your GM Inbox for the original CrowdStrike “Welcome / Installation” e-mail from 2020 and follow the installation instructions. If you cannot locate this e-mail, you can send an e-mail of your own to falcon-complete@Crowdstrike.com and request a re-send.

Installation is mandated for all front desk computers and those accessing ChoiceAdvantage. It takes less than 10 minutes from start to finish for the installation process.

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.

Choice Hotels Brand Update

DEADLINE EXTENDED to MARCH 31st Important Changes to Locally Negotiated Rate (LNR) Accounts and CP Points Eligibility

Choice Hotels has recently implemented a change to gaining exemptions from awarding CP points for certain LNR plans (Corporate Lodging, Weekly, etc.) that your property may utilize. Beginning this past December 15th, these plans can no longer be deemed “non-points eligible” when creating a new one in Rates Center. Instead, all plans must be submitted to Choice Hotels for approval via the Choice Now platform.

Further, beginning April 1, 2022, any existing LNR’s that do not award CP points will be automatically converted to “points eligible” unless they have been cleared by Choice Hotels via this same process.

You can find the LNR plan points exemption form in Choice Now.

Examples of LNRs that have not been awarded CP points exemptions include those that are considered Choice corporate programs (LSTATE, Fed Rates, etc.), cases where no contract between guest (or guest organization) has been provided, or cases where a contract does not explicitly state that the rate is non-points eligible.

Once an LNR plan has been awarded an exemption, you may use this rate code for multiple guests that may stay under that plan. You will not need to submit an exemption request for every guest under the same LNR plan, only when a new LNR plan is created.

Stay tuned to ELFA correspondence and www.elfa.org for more updates on this administration shift.

New ChoiceMAX Rate and Revenue Management Tool is Now Available

Choice Hotels has completed Phase I of the new ChoiceMAX rate and revenue management tool, and is available for use by all properties in the Choice Hotels system.

ChoiceMAX is a more dynamic and thorough replacement for the SmartRates tool, allowing for more frequent competitive rate analysis throughout the day, and more dynamism and targeting when it comes to optimizing your property’s rates.

One critical key with successfully implementing this type of rate management tool lies in accepting that oftentimes guests are more ready, willing, and able to pay more for room nights than we may expect. ChoiceMAX helps better target these rate thresholds, and the data that it utilizes to help drive higher ADR is now more current and up-to-the-minute than ever.

If your property was already utilizing SmartRates then you will have automatically been switched over to the ChoiceMAX system. If your property was not already utilizing SmartRates, and roughly half of Econo Lodges were not with this program, we urge you to connect with your Area Manager today and study its tools, features, and the potential positive impact it may have on your property and your ability to maximize not only rate, but overall revenue alongside.

You can find out more about the ChoiceMAX program and its features here.

Housekeeping Upon Request (HKUR) Guest Communication

Choice Hotels has produced guest-facing publications and collateral to better help relay your property’s HKUR program and schedule in an effort to help manage guest satisfaction feedback and property scoring.

Please take a minute to visit the Econo Lodge HKUR Resource Page in Choice Central for links to materials and descriptions that you can put to work at your property.

New Opaque OTA Pricing Strategies

Choice Hotels is implementing new opaque rate plans for Hotwire and Priceline business, in addition to the existing LOPQ plan. These new tiers open up the advance booking windows for your property.

Please visit the Opaque Pricing Strategy FAQ Page in Choice Central for more detailed information and actions you can take to best manage available inventory for these plans, or to opt out entirely. Opaque OTA business is not right for every property, so be sure that you are maximizing or minimizing these according to your property’s specific booking needs.

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 has taken 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. With QAR inspections underway, this is a critical area being monitored, so be sure your property is fully up to date with all necessary certifications and components in place.