Choice Hotels International said it will fund $40 million in collective improvements to franchised Comfort Inn and Comfort Suites properties in the U.S.

Hotel owners can get reimbursed for as much as 50% of their upgrade costs provided that the work is completed by the end of September 2014. The funds will be provided in the form of a promissory note that is "forgivable" once the work is completed, Choice said.

"We are putting our own balance sheet behind the brand in a monumental way," Choice Hotels CEO Stephen Joyce said in a statement. "Hotel renovations improve guest satisfaction, and through this investment we will accelerate improvement of the brand's product quality and consistency, guest satisfaction and brand performance."

Choice Hotels said in January 2012 that it would work with hotel owners at upgrading the approximately 1,900 U.S. Comfort Inn and Comfort Suites properties while potentially deflagging as many as 10% of the brand's lesser-performing hotels.

Joyce said at the time that he expected about 70% of the Comfort Inn/Suites hotels in the U.S. to get improvements by 2015, and estimated that a typical 75-room Comfort Inn would require "about a couple hundred thousand dollars" to meet the new standards.

Follow Danny King on Twitter @dktravelweekly.

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