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Microtel Inns & Suites Named Official Sponsor

Jan 3, 2005


Microtel Inns & Suites Named Official Sponsor of
Ms. Wheelchair Pennsylvania 2005

ATLANTA (Jan. 3, 2005) – Microtel Inn & Suites, the all-newly constructed chain of budget/economy hotels, has been named official sponsor for Ms. Wheelchair Pennsylvania 2005. Debra Charles, crowned Ms. Wheelchair Pennsylvania 2005 at the Microtel Inn & Suites at 500 Willowbrook Lane in West Chester, will stay at Microtel hotels around the state as she promotes disability awareness during 2005.

Charles, a resident of Kutztown, Pa., was crowned Ms. Wheelchair Pennsylvania 2005 by Lee Gutherman, president of Ms. Wheelchair Pennsylvania, and Michelle Leahy, Ms. Wheelchair Pennsylvania 2004. The competition, which started in 2000, is not a beauty contest, but rather selects the most accomplished and articulate spokeswoman to educate the public regarding persons with disabilities and make personal appearances across the state.

According to Charles, “We thank Microtel hotels for their dedication to Ms. Wheelchair Pennsylvania and commend them for providing excellent accommodations to travelers with disabilities.”

“We are excited to join with Ms. Wheelchair Pennsylvania and supply this year’s winner with complimentary ADA hotel accommodations as she travels around Pennsylvania,” said Roy E. Flora, senior vice president, franchise operations of US Franchise Systems, Inc. (USFS), parent company of the franchisor of the Microtel Inns & Suites brand. “Microtel Inns & Suites is committed to providing quality accommodations and service to travelers with disabilities.”

Microtel Inns & Suites has made great strides in accommodating travelers with disabilities. The brand offers three ADA-room designs (single queen, double queen, and suite) throughout the chain, and a consistency of services to fit guests’ needs, including employees trained in disability etiquette. Microtel Inns & Suites is also a sponsor of The Society for Accessible Travel & Hospitality (SATH).

Charles suffered a stroke in 1995, and was later diagnosed with MS. With her service dog, Oz, by her side, she now works as an independent contractor and teaches crafts to seniors and persons with disabilities. Her numerous volunteer activities include providing Pet Therapy at local nursing homes, organizing weekly bingo, and organizing transportation for shopping trips to those in need assistance. Charles was formerly personnel manager of B.J.’s Wholesale Club.

Ms. Wheelchair Pennsylvania, Inc. is a nonprofit organization with a Planning Committee and Board of Directors of volunteers who represent community organizations, businesses, interested citizens and previous titleholders. All expenses for hosting the program are obtained through fundraising efforts,
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Microtel Inns & Suites Sponsors Ms. Wheelchair Pennsylvania…2/


donations and delegate sponsors. The local West Chester community reached out for the 2005 pageant by donating floral arrangements, catered food, cosmetics, and hair and makeup services for the contenders. For additional information, go to http://www.mswheelchairpa.org.

Ms. Wheelchair America was founded in 1972 by a doctor who wanted to create a presence for women with disabilities. Approximately 25 states hold a pageant annually, and winners compete in Ms. Wheelchair America. Ms. Wheelchair America educates the public and raises awareness by meeting with the business community and government. For information, go to http://www.mswheelchairamerica.org.

Microtel Inns & Suites is the only budget hotel chain to implement the training program known as Opening Doors® systemwide. Developed by W.C. Duke Associates of Woodford, Va., it is a value-added training tool used to enhance the chain’s customer service initiatives, so that staff can practice “attitude accessibility.” Opening Doors emphasizes disability etiquette skills training with interactive activities and role playing using wheelchairs, blindfolds, earplugs and taped hands so employees can practice how to service customers with disabilities. For information, visit http://www.wcduke.com.

For the third consecutive year, Microtel Inns & Suites has been ranked highest in guest satisfaction among economy/budget hotel chains by J.D. Power and Associates. All hotels offer complimentary continental breakfast, and members of the free MicroPass™ frequent guest program earn a free night’s stay after just nine night stays at any location. Microtel has raised the bar on the scope of value and amenities that hotels offer guests, with all properties providing free local and free long distance phone calls, and free wireless high speed Internet access in every guestroom. There are currently 275 Microtel hotels open or under construction worldwide. For reservations, contact 1-888-771-7171 toll-free, or visit http://www.microtelinn.com. All Microtel hotels are independently owned and operated.

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Contacts:
Barbara Wiener-Fischhof
US Franchise Systems, Inc. Corporate Communications
404-235-7400
barbara.wiener.fischhof@usfsi.com

Debra Charles
Ms. Wheelchair Pennsylvania 2005
610-914-9996
trooperdeb@aol.com