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That's the number of new properties Choice Hotels International opened in the fourth quarter alone this company has set its sights on not only expanding its upscale brands but also its presence -- of all places Europe.
With -- is Choice Hotels International CEO and president Steve Joyce and the stock moving higher today by about two thirds of a percent.
This is -- -- hotel name you've been here before but each time you come you continue to say were growing.
And we are and we had a great year in twelve -- also -- record for the company.
The markets are finally back -- open to us financings coming back an important way.
-- important progress on the number of strategic fronts for us but we think thirteen is going to be more the same and maybe even better.
Last night the president said he would like to raise the minimum wage to nine bucks now what kind of impact does that have -- not a business like fuels.
You know market by market it can be.
An issue because it can cause an artificial barrier and actually can hurt the jobs environment.
We would recommend.
That the administration.
Focus on creating jobs that will create demand for people and that will create a natural wage increase.
But the reality is most markets -- -- have minimal wages -- relevant anyway.
You're paying people well above that but it is it is a -- -- we think the focus ought to be on job creation first.
And then you'll get demand for folks in that will raise wages for.
Let's talk about your plans of expansion first -- in the US and then Europe but here in the US you're building up all kinds of properties including a couple here in new York and these are high and -- -- under upper scale hotel scratch -- it's -- you only do that when you believe that the economy's coming back down.
We truly do I mean we think barring something on -- that will set -- going backwards from Washington which we do not think we're gonna get.
We think the hotel businesses and for pretty strong run not a lot of hotels being built over the last couple years not really a lot of inventory coming on to fourteen or fifteen.
That should be a 45 year really good run so now's a good time -- be starting hotels you're gonna go with the wind at your back in were hoping for big things.
We -- great December in Manhattan and we opened 300 we talked for three ground breaking some one.
It 24 hours which was lot of parts lot of 24 -- -- lot of jobs for the city a lot of things it and then.
You know I think it's -- we're very excited about that we're also seeing that continuing to thirteen.
We've got a new project breaking ground Washington got one in our our global headquarters in Rockville Maryland we just not gonna Dallas one of Phoenix and it goes on and on.
That's six -- -- construction we're gonna -- in the next twelve to eighteen months and Europe and Europe.
So you started with a partnership in the UK but -- you're looking to expand leveled.
From -- why Europe.
As we know has been going through some tough times what's closer -- that's that's a half after the reason we like Europe is because it fits our business model from Europe is largely on branded and wants to be branded.
It is a lot of smaller type hotels that have irregular room types a lot of big brand companies they look at these hotels -- head explodes.
We look at -- we see opportunity that's what we do really well.
We have the only cloud based technology platform very low cost of conversion.
And we think Europe's a great market for us it's a huge markets big -- the US.
And so we view that as the next big opportunity for our company it's -- send your highest level hotel.
It is our highest rated high in red and himself and it is a uninteresting.
Collection of hotels -- they're all sort of unique.
But it creates an opportunity for an independent boutique operator to be part of a B system without being what is around like when I get in there.
It can vary widely from the standpoint of it could be a historic hotel.
Or it can be an -- boutique.
And we've got both all over the place and so what will guarantee you it's an experience that you'll that'll match the regional nature of the market -- -- and and you'll meet some interest in people along the way now as difficulties.
Steve Joyce CEO and president of a Choice Hotels International thanks for being here is so much -- appreciate it.
I'm very bullish well my goodness opening three hotels in twenty for a that's athletes.
But clearly not much I think --
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