Country Hearth Inns Becomes First Hotel Chain to Launch Integrated Internet Solution With Individual Websites Systemwide

ATLANTA, March 22 /PRNewswire/ — Country Hearth Inns, the mid-scale hotel chain, has taken a major step toward bolstering local marketing efforts for all its hotels by deploying a complete online reservation network and furnishing franchisees with their own websites, complete with integrated booking engines and state-of-the-art marketing tools. The network is being designed and launched by Alternate Image, a leading provider of Internet solutions for the hospitality industry.

“A strong online presence is key to local marketing and we are committed to providing our franchisees with one of the most effective marketing tools available,” said Doug Collins, chairman and CEO of Country Hearth Inns. “We are confident that these technologies will help our franchisees sell their properties more efficiently and increase their business.”

Collins added that Country Hearth’s central reservations system contribution was up 30 percent in February 2005 over the same period last year, and expects the growth to continue as individual websites are launched and enable properties the ability to capture additional bookings online.

“Country Hearth is setting a higher industry standard online,” said Jeff Herrin, president of Alternate Image. “Individual websites are critical so that consumers can first experience hotels and then have the confidence to book online.”

According to Herrin, the system will allow each individual website to feed rates, availability, and more to Country Hearth Inns’ main corporate site at www.countryhearth.com . This level of integration will offer the chain a top-down view of all activity and the ability to promote specials systemwide while still giving franchisees the independence, customization and control they desire. Sites are currently being individualized to their own markets, and each will feature colorful photographs and reservations information, and link to the chain’s main website.

Additional features include:
– A built-in booking engine integrated into each individual website so
visitors are never lost to a third party website.
– Detailed reporting and visitor tracking with complete ROI and
conversion reports.
– Built-in customer relations tools including newsletter systems.
– Content management tools that offer franchisees full control over their
web presence.

According to franchisee Melanie Jones, general manager of the Country Hearth Inn in Cedartown, Ga., “Country Hearth offered us our own customized website, and we are already seeing increased business as a result.” To view the hotel’s website, go to www.countryhearthcedartown.com .

About Country Hearth Inns

Country Hearth Inns are mid-priced, limited-service hotels that provide Southern hospitality, comfort and value to business and leisure travelers. Hotels combine the homespun atmosphere of a bed and breakfast with the convenience of a hotel, including freshly-baked cookies at check-in, daily complimentary InnCredible Breakfast(R), and evening manager’s reception. All guestrooms offer free local phone calls, high speed Internet access, dataports, and color TV with HBO/ESPN. Guests can earn free nights with the Country Club frequent guest program. There are currently 62 Country Hearth Inns open in the U.S. from Texas to North Carolina. For reservations, call 800-848-5767 or 888-4-HEARTH toll free, or visit www.countryhearth.com .

About Alternate Image

Founded in 1997, Alternate Image is one of the largest providers of Internet solutions for the hospitality and tourism industry with a variety of clients throughout the U.S. In addition, the company provides Internet solutions for chambers of commerce, property management companies, convention and visitor bureaus, and associations. Alternate Solutions is headquartered in Daytona Beach, Fla. For additional information, call 386-760-1774 or visit www.alternateimage.com

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