With time running out in 2019, it is critical to note several important compliance deadlines from Choice Hotels affecting all Econo Lodges.
Merchant Acquisition Initiative –
Announced at Convention, ALL Choice Hotels properties must shift their payment card processing service over to one of three providers – Bank of America, World Pay, or Elavon – by December 31st. [This mandate and service is separate from the continued mandate for Shift4 as the sole processing “gateway” service.]
ELFA has done its homework on this throughout the year and has elected to put its support behind Elavon as our preferred processor of the three. Elavon has agreed to provide ELFA and its members with not only a dedicated support team to assist with the switchover itself – often a problematic occurrence – but also this same dedicated support team to work with our members afterwards.
We highly encourage all ELFA members and Econo Lodge franchisees in general to reach out to Elavon and request the “ELFA Program” support program. There is no additional charge for this enhanced service level – Choice has negotiated set terms for all three providers. What we have put in place is simply leveraging our size to ensure that the many owner / operators that comprise the Econo Lodge brand don’t get lost amid the larger accounts that higher grossing branded properties may command.
Also announced at Convention, Choice Hotels has mandated that all Econo Lodges must have updated property photography on their Choice Hotels brand page that reflects the property upgrades made during the recent Guest Room Improvement Program (GRIP).
Everyone has made sizable investments in their Econo Lodge properties over the past few years, and it is critical to ensure that the public at large can see these changes online to help drive revenue and additional business.
While the deadline for having these new photos appearing online is March 1, 2020, there is a December 31st deadline to have contracted with one of Choice Hotels authorized photography providers to schedule this work.
At our recent Economy Brands Fall Education Summits, two of Choice’s photography providers offered $699 package specials to accomplish this. Please see the attached flyers from RTV and CS3 If you have not already updated your property photography OR have not yet scheduled with a provider to do so, please try to take advantage of one of these before year’s end. Note: Choice Hotels will only accept photographs and images from one of their authorized providers.
Choice Privileges Elite Reserved Parking Sign Install – December 31st
Elite Reserved parking signs should already be delivered to your property. These should be posted up in convenient spots for guests.
Eclipse Linen Collection – July 1, 2020
This linen initiative was announced at Convention in 2018 for all mid-scale brands and up plus Econo Lodge. While other brands have until December 31st to fully change over to this new linen, ELFA worked to extend the Econo Lodge deadline to July 1, 2020 to help ensure that this switchover would not create undue burdens on our often limited space and equipment.
In order to ensure that you are able to meet this July 1st deadline for 100% conversion, it is advised to work towards placing an order for the Eclipse Collection by year’s end, as delivery and order fulfillment is getting squeezed by the switchover from all other brands.
If you have not ordered your Eclipse Collection material yet, please connect with ELFA sponsor Amtex – a Choice-licensed provider – and start this process soon.
If you’re joining us at the 2019 Economy Brand Education Summit, September 29 – October 1 at the Hilton Atlanta Airport Hotel in Atlanta, GA., please review the information below as you make your plans to attend.
All events will be held at the Hilton Atlanta Airport Hotel:
Hilton Atlanta Airport
1031 Virginia Avenue
Atlanta, GA 30354
If you still need to reserve a room, please contact the hotel directly at 404-767-9000 to check availability.
Events begin with our Welcome Reception on Sunday, September 29 from 5:30-8 p.m. in Salon C/D on the lobby level of the Hilton.
We’ll have a full day of education sessions, beginning with breakfast at 8 a.m. on Monday morning. During lunch, we’ll hear from AAHOA Interim CEO and President Rachel Humphrey, followed by more education sessions and a Q&A Session with Choice leadership. We’ll wrap up the day with a special dinner and performance by DJ Rakesh Raj.
On Tuesday, we’ll start the day at 8:30 a.m. with an update from Choice Hotels with Regional Vice President, Franchise Services Michelle Masters and after lunch, our closing session will wrap up at 3:15 p.m.
Make sure that you review the complete schedule, so you’re prepared to attend the sessions that match your areas of interest.
Directions, Transportation and Parking
Please visit the hotel website for complete information and driving directions.
The hotel courtesy shuttle service is available in the Ground Transportation area west curb, immediately outside the Domestic Terminal between the North and South terminals at the Atlanta airport. Hotel shuttles are located in the Purple Bus aisle, Stalls 25 through 29. The shuttle departs every 30 minutes from the hours of 5 a.m. – 12 a.m. and is on call after midnight.
Parking is free of charge for all attendees.
If you are staying at the hotel, you will use your room key to enter and exit the garage.
If you are planning to drive in each day, bring your parking ticket to the meeting registration desk (available Sunday, Monday and Tuesday) and we will provide you with a voucher to present when you exit the garage.
September 29 – October 1; Atlanta, GA October 6 – 8; Laguna Hills, CA
Registration is now open for the new, two-day Economy Brands Education Summit.
Visit the registration site for full descriptions of the education sessions, including a deep dive on topics including, Revenue Management, ADA Lawsuits, Local Property Sales and Marketing, the Guest Relations process and Global Sales.
Members of the Choice leadership team will host a Q&A session at each location. You can submit your questions for the team when you register.
Meet with members of the Choice team and hear from AAHOA.
Connect with your fellow franchisees during a Welcome Reception on Sunday evening, breakfast and lunch each day and a dinner on Monday evening.
Keep up with the latest products and services during the Vendor Showcase.
Your hotel was billed for one full registration on your August franchise invoice. Take advantage of the in-depth education opportunities to help drive business, learn more about the systems and services that can support your hotel and more.
ELFA is excited to announce another $2,000 scholarship program for the upcoming 2019-2020 academic year available to employees or family members of an Econo Lodge franchise towards an accredited college or technical school tuition for the coming academic year. Read More
You may be aware that there is a law firm suing hotels, including Choice properties, in connection with the way property amenities and accessible rooms are being listed on www.choicehotels.com. These claims continue to spread and unless you act now, you could face litigation that you will need to settle or defend. This issue was originally brought to your attention in the March 2018 Franchise Services Dispatch. It is important to remember that you are responsible for accurately listing the amenities and features of your guest rooms. Choice does not have this information and it is up to each hotel to ensure that the website is correct. Please take a few minutes today to double check your room type and amenity listing to make sure they are accurate.
If your hotel does not yet have its new Internet Landing Page (ILP) up and running, Choice now has a January 1, 2019 deadline to do so before it will begin impacting your Performance Zone scoring.
Please fill out the following form and send to Choice Hotels ASAP so that they can coordinate with your current HSIA provider and install your new ILP by the January 1, 2019 deadline.
The new Internet Landing Page is of no cost to franchisees, and actually offers properties an opportunity to earn revenue off of local and nearby attractions, restaurants, and other. Please visit the Choice Brand page for more information.
Choice Hotels unveiled two weeks ago changes to its Reputation Management department’s activity and fee structure. Among the key changes are increases in fees per occurrence for the current 72-hour negative review non-response activity, accelerating at 6 and 10 per month levels, though offering no fee for a single missed response once per quarter. Read More