CORRECTED: Most Jameson Inn hotels to be reflagged

By Danny King

Hotel management company Aimbridge Hospitality will reflag 103 hotels that are Jameson Inn properties, mostly in the South and Southeast. 

About a dozen Jameson Inn properties in Georgia, Illinois, North Carolina and Virginia will keep the name under a franchising agreement with America’s Best Franchising.

Aimbridge, named the management firm by the acquired hotels' new owner, Colony Capital, will oversee “a substantial renovation and rebranding under the banners of certain nationally recognized chains,” Dallas-based Aimbridge said in a statement.

Aimbridge, founded in 2003 by former Wyndham Hotels & Resorts president Les Bentley, manages 14 hotels under Hilton Worldwide’s Embassy Suites badge, 10 under Hilton’s DoubleTree brand and eight under Starwood’s Aloft badge.

The company didn’t disclose details on how the Jameson Inn properties would be rebranded.

Jameson Inn, founded in 1987, filed for bankruptcy in October 2011, at which time Colony Capital controlled about $40 million of Jameson's debt. Santa Monica, Calif.-based Colony Capital earlier this month assumed ownership of the Jameson Inn hotels.

Meanwhile, owners of the dozen or so Jameson Inn properties that weren’t foreclosed upon and were licensed last month reached franchise agreements with America’s Best Franchising, whose other brands include America’s Best Inns & Suites and Budgetel Inns & Suites.

America’s Best is looking re-establish the Jameson Inn brand in some of the same markets as the foreclosed-upon properties as well as some new markets, said America’s Best Franchising spokesman Peter Mathon, who declined to disclose any specific brand-expansion goals.

Colony Capital also owns stakes in Fairmont Hotels & Resorts and Raffles Hotels & Resorts. It is investing in Trump Hotels’ redevelopment of Washington's Old Post Office Building into a luxury hotel.

In addition, Colony will become the majority stockholder of LodgeNet Interactive Corp., provider of in-room entertainment systems for hotels, after LodgeNet completes its reorganization under bankruptcy protection.

Jameson Inn, which totals about 7,000 rooms, topped J.D. Power’s guest-satisfaction survey for the economy/budget sector in July 2012. Microtel Inn & Suites held that title for 10 years before Jameson Inn won last year.

Correction: The Jameson Inn brand is not going away, as was wrongly reported previously.

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