Budget hotel brand makes a luxury change

Those who have stayed in a hotel will know just how important parking is both to the travelers and the hotel’s profit stream.

Parking fees have been on the rise and started replacing the “resort fee” as a sneaky way for hotels to make money while free parking is often offered as a massive perk to frequent guests and those who stay in more expensive rooms.

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As part of a new partnership with electric vehicle giant Tesla  (TSLA) – Get Free Report, hospitality chain Choice Hotels  (CHH) – Get Free Report will install the company’s Universal Wall Connector chargers at a number of its hotels. While Choice also has a number of upscale brands, it is best-known for budget chains such as Comfort Inn & Suites, Sleep Inn and Park Inn by Radisson.

Rows of Tesla cars are photographed at a car lot in Smithtown, N.Y. Photo by John Paraskevas/Newsday RM via Getty Images.

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Drive a Tesla? These are the hotels where you can find a charger

The chargers will be installed in select Radisson, Cambria, Comfort and Country Inn & Suites hotels at different cities across the U.S.

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“This agreement with Tesla allows our brands to further stand out by increasing access to EV charging for guests and potentially drive incremental topline revenue for hotel owners,” Dominic Dragisich, Choice Hotels’ executive vice president and chief global brand officer, said in a statement. “At Choice, we are focused on ensuring owners and operators of our hotel brands are set up to benefit from strategic agreements that drive booking consideration and value.”

Ultimately, the specific hotel will get to choose whether to invest in the Universal Wall Connector for its guests depending on data that shows how much they are needed and used by guests. Under the agreement, the selected brands will be able to install four or more such chargers in their parking lot.

Fed up with hotel parking right now? You are not the only one

While some Tesla drivers have a membership that offers them free charging, using the Universal Wall Connector will generally cost between 25 cents per kilowatt-hour to 50 cents per kilowatt-hour depending on the location. Those interested in knowing whether a hotel they’ll be staying in or want to book will have a charger can find out using a specific search function on ChoiceHotels.com

Particularly in cities where many people come in by cars, hotel parking has become a hot-button issue as many have been increasing their fees amid greater scrutiny of resort fees. Some of the steepest hotel fees are in dense cities such as San Francisco and New York. According to an estimate with data from ResortFeeChecker.com, the average parking fee in NYC can exceed $100 a night.

The Universal Wall Connectors are generally not used as a regular parking spot but available to those with a Tesla for as long as they will pay to charge it. Shopping malls, gas stations and luxury housing developments are common sites for Tesla chargers while California, New York, Texas and Florida are the states that have the most Supercharger stations, which mirror a traditional gas station with many ports. The Sunshine State came in behind only Tesla’s origin state of California with 144 installed by the end of 2023.

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