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Choice Hotels International has reached franchise agreements with Gulf Coast Hotel Management for the conversion of 15 MainStay Suites hotels in the US.

The new hotels in 15 US cities will expand the Choice Hotels portfolio with the addition of about 1,700 rooms.

Speaking on the development, Choice Hotels extended stay franchise development senior vice-president Ron Burgett said: “These agreements validate our strategic focus on the extended stay segment and the investments we have made in tailoring support, sales and training to drive performance and return on investment for developers — and they certainly have taken notice.

“That’s why MainStay has grown to nearly 100 open hotels and the pipeline has swelled to almost 130 properties, further demonstrating sustained developer interest in our extended stay brands.”

Designed for long staying guests with spacious, apartment-style suites featuring fully equipped kitchens, these hotels provide guests with various amenities including fitness rooms, on-site marketplaces, and laundry facilities.

Claimed to be the largest multi-unit transaction in the brand’s history, this franchise deal is expected to boost its presence in the midscale extended stay segment.

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Gulf Coast Hotel Management CEO Ian McClure added: “We’re thrilled to grow and expand our relationship with Choice Hotels by converting these 15 properties to the MainStay Suites brand, which add to the 23 WoodSpring Suites already managed by Gulf Coast, 22 of which we own.

He added: “Choice has really made its mark in the extended stay segment with economy and midscale brands that offer great value to both owners and guests. These hotels will be reimagined with a new operating model that emphasises profitability, something Gulf Coast is laser focused on during this time.”

In October last year, Choice awarded a contract to Fredric Washington to develop six hotels, under the emerging markets franchise development programme.

Last year, the chain commenced construction of Detroit’s first Cambria-branded hotel, a six-story, 158-room property.