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Drury Inns and Suites ranked No. 1 in survey on customer satisfaction

Sunday, August 27, 2006

SIKESTON - When it comes to overall guest satisfaction a hotel chain with ties to Southeast Missouri earned some top honors.

Drury Inn and Suites received the highest ranking for mid-scale limited service in a survey conducted by J.D. Power and Associates.

The study, now in its 10th year, measures overall hotel guest satisfaction across six hotel segments: luxury, upscale, mid-scale full service, mid-scale limited service, economy/budget and extended stay. Seven key measures are examined within each segment to determine overall satisfaction: reservations, check-in/check-out, guest room, food and beverage, hotel service, hotel facilities and costs and fees.

Overall hotel satisfaction has increased in five of six segments in 2006, with only the luxury segment declining slightly in satisfaction versus 2005. This may be the result of many hotel brands investing in massive renovations and bundling more amenities and services as a way of enhancing the overall guest experience, according to a new release from J.D. Power and Associates.

The study founds that the costs and fees factor has significantly increased in importance to hotel guests, becoming either the most or second-most-

important influencer of overall satisfaction across all six segments. At the same time, satisfaction with this factor has also declined significantly across several brands.

"Although there is a lot of optimism surrounding the hotel industry with respect to increased occupancy and development, several factors are still taking a toll on the industry," said Linda Hirneise, executive director of the travel practice at J.D. Power and Associates. "Economic forces such as soaring gas prices and increased cost of living are taking their toll on discretionary income. More than ever travelers are looking for the best value for their money and are becoming more conscious of what each hotel offers as far as complementary services and amenities when deciding where to stay."

Sikeston has two properties operated by Drury, the Drury Inn and the Pear Tree Inn. Both are located in Miner just off the Interstate 55 exit.

Also the company recently announced plans to build a new four-story Drury Inns & Suites at the current site of the Raudmont. Demolition is expected to begin immediately on the Raudmont building with completion of the new Drury Inn and Suites to be late in the summer of 2007.

"Ranking No. 1 with J.D. Power and Associates has been a goal of ours and we are all excited about this achievement. This speaks very highly for our entire Drury team," said Dale Frame, assistant general manager of Drury Hotels in Sikeston. "Customer service is our No. 1 priority and we couldn't achieve that without the commitment of our loyal Drury Team."

Cape Girardeau is home to four Drury hotel properties while Jackson and Hayti each have one and Poplar Bluff has two. There are three Drury hotel properties located in Paducah.

In placing at the top of Mid-Scale Limited Service Segment Overall Satisfaction, Drury Inn and Suites edged out Wingate Inn and Hampton Inn and Suites among others.