Best Western Pledges Support to Hurricane Katrina Victims

Hotel Chain to Raise Funds for American Red Cross Disaster Relief Efforts Through ‘Best Western For a Better World’ Program

PHOENIX, Sept. 1 /PRNewswire/ — Best Western announced today that its hotel owners and employees are joining with the American Red Cross to provide relief to victims of Hurricane Katrina. Through its “Best Western For a Better World” community service program, the company hopes to raise $1 million, with an immediate donation of $250,000 to the organization.

During the next two months, Best Western will work with its 4,100 properties around the world to reach its pledge. In addition, members of Best Western’s loyalty program, Gold Crown Club International, will be able to donate the monetary value of their points directly to the Red Cross relief fund. Gold Crown Club customers will have the option to receive bonus points for cash donations through www.bestwestern.com as well. At the company’s worldwide headquarters in Phoenix, employees will also be able to make monetary contributions, or donate the cash value of their vacation time to the cause.

“Our hearts and prayers go out to everyone that has suffered such enormous loss in what’s fast becoming the largest natural disaster to hit the United States,” said David Kong, president and CEO for Best Western International. “The Best Western family has a 60-year tradition of serving the communities in which they operate. We continue this spirit of caring today by pledging our unwavering support in this great time of need.”

From the money raised, 60 percent will be earmarked for the American Red Cross hurricane relief fund. The remaining 40 percent will go to regional marketing and community assistance programs in the affected areas. The hotel chain has nearly 250 member properties in the region, which includes Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. It is estimated that 45 hotels were within the storm’s path. Throughout the week, Best Western’s corporate office has been working around the clock to determine the status of these properties and to offer assistance.

“Best Western For a Better World” is a multi-faceted community service program dedicated to providing assistance to Best Western neighbors in cities and countries across the globe. Through financial contributions, product donations and volunteer activities, Best Western, its members, employees and guests work together throughout the year, making a difference by helping those in need.

About Best Western International

Best Western International is THE WORLD’S LARGEST HOTEL CHAIN(R) with more than 4,100 hotels in 80 countries and territories. It is a membership association of independently owned and operated hotels that provides marketing, reservations and operational support to its members. For more information, please visit: www.bestwestern.com.

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