Wyndham Hotel Group next year will start instituting design and service upgrades for the Howard Johnson brand.

The “reinvigoration project” for Howard Johnson will include new interior and exterior design motifs as well as a service-training program.

The improvements will start being rolled out to yet-to-be announced locations by the end of next year. Franchisees will have the chance to “join” the upgraded brand starting in 2015, provided that they make property improvements mandated by Wyndham.

The Howard Johnson Inn, Express Inn and Plaza tiers will be phased out.

The effort is similar to one announced by Choice Hotels International for its Comfort Inn and Comfort Suites brands early last year.

Choice said it would work with owners and franchisees at implementing the design upgrades and expected about 70% of the company’s approximately 2,000 Comfort Inn and Comfort Suites hotels to complete the improvements by 2015. The company also said it expected to deflag much as 10% of the brands’ lesser-performing hotels.

Wyndham acquired the Howard Johnson brand 1990. There are about 450 Howard Johnson hotels. The brand opened its first hotel in 1954.

Follow Danny King on Twitter @dktravelweekly.

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