SOURCE: Accor North America

December 04, 2006 07:00 ET

Accor Invests More Than $6 Million in Properties to Help Rebuild New Orleans and Gulfport

Local Motel 6 and Studio 6 Re-Open After Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina

CARROLLTON, TX -- (MARKET WIRE) -- December 4, 2006 -- Accor North America, one of the largest hotel chain owners and operators in North America, celebrates the re-opening of three Motel 6 properties and one Studio 6 property in the Gulf Coast Region. As an important step in revitalizing the area, Accor proudly re-opens the following locations:

--  Motel 6 in Slidell, La., located at 136 Taos Street, (985) 649-7925
--  Motel 6 in New Orleans, La., located at 12330 I-10 Service Rd, (504)
    240-2862
--  Studio 6 in New Orleans, La., located at 12330 I-10 Service Rd, (504)
    240-9778
--  Motel 6 in Gulfport, Miss., located at 9355 US Highway 49, (228) 863-
    1890
    
"We could not have re-opened these four Accor properties without having employees who were dedicated to seeing the Gulf Coast area restored, and we were very fortunate that many of our employees were able to return to our hotels," said Lisbeth Ceballos, area manager for Motel 6 in Louisiana and Mississippi. "Accor understood how important it was for these cities to begin rebuilding themselves, and we were among the first businesses to reopen our doors in one of the most damaged parts of East New Orleans."

One of the most damaged Accor properties was the Motel 6 located in East New Orleans. The hotel, which at one point was submerged in four feet of water, underwent a $2 million overhaul that included a complete restoration of its interior, as well as repairs to a severely damaged roof. As part of the renovation, the property was upgraded with Motel 6's new room décor. The package features new draperies, residential paint colors, carpeting and custom-designed bedspreads that capture the spirit of North American travel.

"Since we've opened our doors, a few other businesses have followed, including banks and gas stations. Before that, people would have to drive at least 10 miles to put gas in their cars," said Eric Studer, senior vice president of Marketing Services for Motel 6.

Accor has also re-opened the Studio 6 property located directly behind the Motel 6 in East New Orleans. Similar to the New Orleans Motel 6 property, all four floors had to be completely renovated due to extensive flooding and all the soft goods and furniture had to be replaced. The $3 million complete restoration included new room décor from carpets, drapes, spreads, furniture, appliances and granite kitchen counter tops.

"Since opening our doors, both the East New Orleans Motel 6 and Studio 6 are near full capacity, with most rooms filled by construction-related occupants. Our New Orleans properties provide construction workers and developers a close place to stay as they help rebuild the city," said Ceballos. "Before we were able to open these two properties, many workers were staying 20 miles northeast of New Orleans at our Motel 6 in Slidell, Louisiana."

The Motel 6 property located in Slidell, La., which was one of the first hotels in the region to re-open, was fully operational approximately 30 days after Hurricane Katrina made landfall. The property had very minimal damage and 80 percent of its original employees were able to return to work.

The fourth Accor property to re-open in the Gulf Coast region is the Motel 6 located in Gulfport, Mississippi. This property experienced tremendous damage from the hurricane and the interior had to be completely renovated. This property, like the New Orleans Motel 6, was updated with Motel 6's new room package design. The $1.4 million renovation included demolition, clean-up and a complete restoration of its interior.

Accor was able to re-open its Gulf Coast properties due to the loyalty and commitment of its employees. At the Gulfport Motel 6 property alone, of the 15 workers who were once employed there, six employees returned. After Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Accor actively searched for its displaced employees, relocated its employees to work at other locations and raised more than $250,000 to help its employees who were affected by the hurricanes.

About Motel 6

Motel 6 offers the best price of any national chain at more than 850 locations in the U.S. and Canada. Standard amenities include free local phone calls, no long distance access charges, free morning coffee, data ports, and a channel line-up including HBO, ESPN/ESPN2, and CNN. All Motel 6 properties welcome pets, and most locations offer swimming pools and guest laundry facilities. For reservations or information, visit www.motel6.com or call 800-4-MOTEL6. Click 6 Web Bargains are available only online at motel6.com.

About Studio 6

Studio 6 Extended Stay® features fully furnished rooms found in a traditional hotel, but adds special amenities and affordable weekly rates to accommodate travelers staying for five nights or more. The studios, which are approximately 280-290 square feet, feature sleeping areas and fully furnished kitchens complete with refrigerators and microwaves, cook-top stoves, cookware and dinnerware. For reservations or information, visit www.staystudio6.com or call 1-888-897-0202.

About Accor North America

Headquartered in Dallas (Carrollton), Texas, Accor North America operates more than 1,200 upscale and economy properties including nationwide economy leaders Red Roof Inn, Studio 6 and Motel 6 and the upscale Sofitel and mid-scale Novotel and Ibis hotel locations in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. For more information, visit www.accor-na.com.

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