WICHITA, KS—Value Place,the extended-stay hotel brand, has had a busy year. It announced amajor expansion of its franchise efforts, brought in a new team oftop officials and just reported that its system-wide revenueincreased 10.6% over the same period last year to $55 million. Andnow it will attempt to further strengthen its brand name by namingMike Varner as its senior vice president of brandstrategy and marketing.

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Varner joins Value Place fromChoice Hotels International, where he was mostrecently responsible for brand strategy and management for theComfort Inn and Comfort Suitesbrands. It's not the first time that Value Place has tapped someonefrom CHI, one of the world's largest lodging companies.Bruce Haase, for example, who recentlytook the helm as chief executive officer at ValuePlace, had just finished a 12-year tenure at CHI. Varner has alsoheld leadership positions in brand management and innovation atCampbell Soup and 3M.

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Value Place “has built a solid andprofitable business model, with tremendous growth potential fordevelopers as the brand expands across the country,” said Varner ina prepared statement. He was not available by press time. “And withindustry-leading occupancy levels, we know guests like us, too. AsValue Place continues to grow, we'll strengthen customers' bondswith the brand, so they'll make our hotels their first choicewhenever they're looking for a place to stay.”

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A typical Value Place location has about124 rooms in a four-floor, 45,000-square-foot building on two acresthat provides guests with a bedroom, a desk with an internetconnection and a full kitchen. The company currently has nearly 190properties in 32 states, both corporate- and franchise-owned. Itplans to grow its national footprint by increasing the numbers of bothtypes. Value Place also saw an 11.5% same-propertyRevPAW increase during the second quarter.

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"With the addition of Mike, we continue tostrengthen the Value Place management team and position the companyfor rapid growth,” said Haase. “Mike has an extensive andsuccessful history leading branding and marketing efforts forwell-known national brands with strong customer loyalty, and we areexcited to have him join the team.”

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Brian J. Rogal

Brian J. Rogal is a Chicago-based freelance writer with years of experience as an investigative reporter and editor, most notably at The Chicago Reporter, where he concentrated on housing issues. He also has written extensively on alternative energy and the payments card industry for national trade publications.