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HOWARD JOHNSON UPGRADES FOR THE 90S WITH GATELODGE IMAGE ENHANCEMENT PROGRAM; OFFERS FINANCIAL INCENTIVES TO FRANCHISEES WHO RENOVATE

HOWARD JOHNSON UPGRADES FOR THE 90S WITH GATELODGE IMAGE ENHANCEMENT
 PROGRAM; OFFERS FINANCIAL INCENTIVES TO FRANCHISEES WHO RENOVATE
 PARSIPPANY, N.J., Sept. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- A contemporary new look for Howard Johnson Lodges is appearing across the country as Howard Johnson franchisees take advantage of the Gatelodge Image Enhancement and Remodeling Rebate Program offered by Howard Johnson Franchise Systems, Inc. The classic orange-roofed Gatelodge "A" frame building where guests check in, a national landmark since its introduction in 1954, is undergoing a complete facelift to improve properties' curb appeal. Although the direction of the economy is still uncertain, Howard Johnson Franchise Systems, Inc. is demonstrating its commitment to property improvement by offering financial incentives to franchisees who participate in the renovation program.
 Howard Johnson, one of the most enduring hospitality brands in the country, updated its interiors and signs in the 1980s. Now it is turning its attention to its exteriors. Eric Pfeffer, president and chief operating officer of Howard Johnson Franchise Systems, Inc. since April 1991, said "We are placing a strong emphasis on quality in the Howard Johnson system. Howard Johnson has become the eighth largest brand in the country during the past two years as we revitalize the brand and restore it to its rightful place in the industry. The Gatelodge Image Enhancement Program is a shining example of how we are taking the Howard Johnson brand into the 90s and the next century."
 Properties Seeing Immediate Results of Renovation
 Pfeffer cited higher occupancy rates and room rates for those properties that have already renovated their exteriors. "I never would have imagined the direct and rapid impact this renovation could bring," added Spiro Pappas, general manager of the Howard Johnson Lodge in
Middletown, New Jersey. "The walk-in traffic has improved by as much as 15 percent. Neighboring businesses have come in to praise our new look."
 Al Baerenklau, owner of the Howard Johnson Lodge in Macon, Georgia and a board member of the Howard Johnson National Operator's Council, said "Walk-in business is up 10 percent. Customer delight and increased referrals from area competitors are the results of our new exterior."
 "Renovation of our Gatelodge confirmed to our customers that we are consistently upgrading the Howard Johnson product," noted Larry E. Anthony, owner and general manager of the Howard Johnson Lodge in New Stanton, Penn. "Exterior renovation has heightened local awareness of our commitment to better services. Business clients have acknowledged our efforts with increased reservations."
 To date, 20 Howard Johnson properties across the country have taken advantage of the Gatelodge Image Enhancement Program and several others are scheduled to begin work shortly. The property improvement program provides long-term, cost effective, and maximum impact benefits to the Howard Johnson franchisee.
 Two exterior remodeling designs have been developed, one costing approximately $31,000 - $36,000 and the other $38,000 to $44,000, depending on location, condition of property, and scope of work. Howard Johnson Franchise Systems, Inc. provides marketing fee credits of up to $8,000 for the first type of design and up to $15,000 for the second type to each property which undergoes renovation.
 "The investment credits demonstrate our commitment to property improvement," said Pfeffer. "Franchisees, guests, and the Howard Johnson system as a whole all benefit from this program."
 The Howard Johnson system has also added 40 more contemporary new properties over the past six months. "We grew by 25 percent in 1991 and we're continuing to gain momentum this year," said Pfeffer. "We just kicked off the biggest fall marketing campaign in Howard Johnson history, following an outstanding summer. The sleeping giant has truly awakened."
 Howard Johnson Franchise Systems, Inc., a subsidiary of Hospitality Franchise Systems, Inc., is an international chain of 550 Plaza-Hotels, Hotels, Lodges, Park Square Inns and HoJo Inns throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. The toll-free reservations number is 1-800-I-GO-HOJO (1-800-446-4656). The toll-free reservations number for travel agents is 1-800-654-4656.
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: Slides (before & after) available/
 /CONTACT: Lisa Garb of Howard Johnson Franchise Systems, 201-952-8439/ CO: Howard Johnson Lodges; Hospitality Franchise Systems, Inc. ST: New Jersey IN: LEI SU:


LD-TM -- NY005 -- 4217 09/29/92 08:30 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 29, 1992
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