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CHOICE HOTELS LAUNCHES SWEEPSTAKES TO END ALL SWEEPSTAKES; CHOICEASAURUS ROAMS NORTH AMERICA, LEAVING CASH, PRIZES IN HIS WAKE

 WASHINGTON, April 22 /PRNewswire/ -- What's a)big, b)green, c)only happens once every few million years, and d)is coming to Comfort, Quality, Clarion and Sleep Inns throughout the United States and Canada this summer?
 Is it a dinosaur? Or is it a suitcase stuffed with $1 million cash? Actually, it's both; Choice Hotels International introduces the Choiceasaurus Sweepstakes, the biggest, greenest, most billenium-busting summer promotion ever sponsored by the lodging franchise chain.
 Beginning June 1, travelers can stop in at any Choice hotel in the United States and Canada, pick up a sweepstakes form and register to win a weekly cash giveaway of $50,000 or one of hundreds of Choiceasaurus beach towels given away each week for seven weeks. Additionally, guests at any Comfort, Quality, Clarion or Sleep hotel can register to win the grand prize -- a suitcase stuffed with $1 million in cash.
 Presiding over the sweepstakes promotion is the Choiceasaurus, a green, scaly reptile of immense proportions who smiles benevolently as he dispenses gargantuan sums of money to lucky summer travelers. Among the dinosaur species, Choiceasaurus stands out because of his uniquely figured torso: it's shaped like a suitcase, a tie-in to Choice Hotels' trademark.
 "By anyone's standards, $1 million is a lot of money," said Barry L. Smith, senior vice president of marketing at Choice. "To convey the enormity of this promotion, we needed to think big. Dinosaurs, both literally in terms of their size, and figuratively in terms of their popularity, are about as big as you can get."
 The Choiceasaurus will be introduced to the traveling public as the featured character in Choice's summer television commercials. The ads feature the big, green lovable dinosaur as he roams the continent, lumbering from bustling city streets to quiet country pastures, in search of lucky sweepstakes winners. Finally, he arrives at a Choice hotel and delivers his suitcase/body full of cash to an excited family of four.
 Presentation of the weekly $50,000 prizes will be incorporated into Choice's television ad schedule as well. Each week, for seven weeks beginning June 21, the Choiceasaurus will visit the winner and present a suitcase filled with $50,000. Filming of the winners will be aired in television commercials nationwide, creating suspense and excitement as travelers across the country wonder: Where will the Choiceasaurus and his suitcase full of cash appear next?
 In order to win the $1 million grand prize, sweepstakes participants will be asked to guess the exact year, within a 15-million-year period, that the Choiceasaurus was born. The year has been preselected by a professional sweepstakes company commissioned by Choice.
 In addition to the sweepstakes offer, the Choiceasaurus will be touting the fact that kids under 18 stay free at all Choice hotels when traveling with their parents or grandparents. While supplies last, kids checking into a Comfort, Quality, Clarion or Sleep Inn will receive a free, pint-sized toy replica of the Choiceasaurus.
 And on June 5, Choice hotels nationwide will host "Choiceasaurus Bashes" at their properties for underprivileged kids, who will participate in contests, a parade, a Dino Egg Hunt and much more. The children at each party will be invited through local chapters of the Foster Grandparents, a federal agency that matches senior citizens with needy youngsters.
 "Turn on the television, you'll see dinosaurs. Go to the movies, you'll find dinosaurs. Go to the store and you'll find dinosaur cereal, pasta and juice. Listen to kids at play, or read their favorite stories, you'll hear dinosaurs," said Smith. "The noise level already exists, and by this summer it will be deafening. By introducing the Choiceasaurus Sweepstakes as our summer promotion, we're taking a trend and building on it to generate maximum exposure -- and maximum profits -- for our licensees. Last summer we blew the competition away with 'Batman Returns'; this summer, they're extinct!"
 With 2,903 hotels in 30 countries, Choice Hotels International has been named the nation's number one lodging franchisor by Entrepreneur Magazine in 1991, 1992, and 1993 and by Success Magazine for the past two years. Brands marketed by Choice include Comfort, Quality, Econo Lodge, Clarion, Rodeway, Friendship and Sleep Inns. For reservations at any Choice hotel, call 1-800-4-CHOICE.
 -0- 4/22/93
 /CONTACT: Betsy Bromberg O'Rourke of Choice Hotels, 301-236-5032/


CO: Choice Hotels International ST: District of Columbia IN: LEI SU:

MH-DS -- DC035 -- 9739 04/22/93 16:50 EDT
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Date:Apr 22, 1993
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