Market Metrix Survey Ranks Wingate Inn(R) Chain Top in Lodging

PARSIPPANY, N.J., Feb. 8 /PRNewswire/ — A national Market Metrix consumer survey has ranked Cendant Hotel Group’s Wingate Inn chain top in the lodging industry for guest satisfaction.

In announcing the results of its fourth-quarter 2004 Market Metrix Hospitality Index, the San Rafael, Calif.-based research firm said this is the first time that a midscale, without-food-and-beverage segment chain has been ranked top in the survey’s hotels category.

The survey, based on responses from 35,000 consumer interviews and reviews of 133 lodging brands, concluded that the Wingate Inn brand has “dazzled its guests and created a devoted following.”

Consumers told Market Metrix that the Wingate Inn chain provides “amenities comparable to a five-star hotel”, “awesome telecommunications”, “oversized rooms” and “a free breakfast that is out of this world.”

Guests also complimented Wingate Inn hotel staff, saying they “smile, call you by name, and ask if there is anything you need.” According to the survey, Wingate Inn hotels provide “superior customer service unmatched in the hospitality industry.”

Keith Pierce, Wingate Inns International president, said the ranking “demonstrates the brand’s guest-focused strategy and commitment by Wingate Inn owners and operators to deliver outstanding quality and exceed guest expectations by providing the services and amenities they want at no extra charge.”

The brand’s “guest-friendly pricing” is designed to attract both value-conscious business and leisure travelers, said Pierce. “By providing key amenities without nickel and diming our customers, we have created a unique product with a compelling value proposition that appeals equally to guests and hotel developers.”

As part of its value proposition, the Wingate brand’s all-inclusive rates provide guests with free high-speed Internet access, local calls, long-distance access, deluxe continental breakfast, USA TODAY newspaper in the United States on weekdays, faxes, photocopies and use of a 24-hour business center and fitness room with whirlpool. Guest satisfaction is backed by a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee.

With 138 hotels currently open, the Wingate Inn brand was ranked above hotel companies including Walt Disney World Resorts and Drury Inns.

Pierce congratulated Wingate Inn owners, managers and employees “on this proud achievement.”

Wingate Inns International opened its first franchised hotel in July 1996. Its focused service, upper mid-market franchised hotels feature sophisticated, consumer-based technology and comfortable, oversized rooms that were created in response to business travelers’ needs. The hotel chain was ranked the highest in the midscale, limited-service segment in the J.D. Power and Associates 2004 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study(SM). The chain also was recognized in the Zagat Survey 2003 and 2004 Top agreements with Wingate Inns International. Reservations can be made by calling the Wingate Inn toll-free reservation center at (800) 228-1000 or through the company’s Web site at Wingate Inns International is a subsidiary of Cendant Corporation (NYSE:CD) .

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