Patrick Pacious is President and Chief Executive Officer of Choice Hotels International, Inc. (NYSE: CHH), one of the largest and most successful lodging franchisors in the world, with more than 7,100 hotels, representing nearly 600,000 rooms, in over 40 countries and territories as of December 31, 2020. Throughout his 15-plus years of leadership in increasingly senior roles at Choice, Pacious has revitalized legacy brands, launched new brands, and acquired a brand that is the fastest growing in its segment, as well as led enterprise-wide technology transformation initiatives. He has improved business delivery to hotel owners and advanced a corporate culture focused on diversity, equity and belonging as well as performance for Choice associates.
In 2020, Pacious successfully navigated the company through the unprecedented circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic and delivered results that outperformed the industry. Throughout the pandemic, he also led advocacy efforts with Congress and the Administration to drive assistance for small business owners and the company’s franchisees, helping to ensure that their needs would be addressed in the economic relief bills enacted during the crisis.
Pacious has a proven track record of building, strengthening and fortifying hotel brands to appeal to the customers of tomorrow. In addition to leading the transformation of the company’s flagship Comfort brand with a multi-year, $2.5 billion joint investment with franchisees, he has significantly grown the company’s upscale presence with its Cambria Hotels brand, which has more than 50 hotels in top markets nationwide. Choice’s newest brands are fueling the company’s growth in the extended stay and midscale segments. In 2020, the company achieved nearly 450 open extended stay hotels and launched Everhome Suites, a new-construction midscale extended stay brand that marries the company’s eight decades of midscale expertise with its proven extended stay operating model. Under Pacious’ leadership, Choice Hotels acquired WoodSpring Suites in 2018 and dramatically increased the brand’s performance since. That same year, the company successfully launched Clarion Pointe, a select-service brand.
The continuous improvement of Choice’s business-delivery capabilities has driven strong results for Choice brands in all segments. In 2020, Choice grew its award-winning Choice Privileges loyalty program to 47 million members and significantly improved the proportion of revenue delivered to Choice-brand hotels via corporate channels. This has led to an industry-leading voluntary franchisee retention rate.
Pacious has significant experience in leading technological transformation to meet the demands of the digital economy. In 2018, the company launched choiceEDGE, the hotel industry’s most advanced cloud-based reservation system and distribution platform. In 2019, Choice further strengthened its technology leadership position by becoming the first hotel company to begin to migrate its legacy systems to the Amazon Web Services cloud to improve performance, scalability, and reliability. Choice has formed a strategic partnership with the Amazon ML Solutions Lab to identify uses for machine learning across the enterprise.
Among Choice’s over 1,000 associates, Pacious’ focus has been centered around the creation of an inclusive and performance-based corporate culture. In 2020, he was named one of the "Top 50 Best CEOs of Large Companies" by Comparably for a second-straight year, as determined by employee ratings, ranking No. 7 overall. He was also selected as one of Comparably’s “Best CEOs for Women” and, in 2019, he received the inaugural Veterans in Business Award from the Washington Business Journal for his work to help veterans in the workplace and beyond. The company has been recognized as a best-in-class employer by several groups since Pacious took the reins as CEO. Recent accolades include being named one of the “2020 Best Employers for Diversity” and “2020 Best Employers for Veterans,” both by Forbes, as well as earning a top score on Disability:IN's “2020 Disability Equality Index” and being recognized by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation's Corporate Equality Index as a “Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality.”
Pacious joined Choice in 2005 and steadily rose in responsibility. Before becoming CEO in 2017, he was the company’s president and chief operating officer, where he led strategy and growth initiatives within the areas of technology, innovation, distribution, brand, marketing, franchise services, and performance analytics. His first exposure to Choice was as a consultant at Arthur Andersen Business Consulting LLP and BearingPoint Inc., where he worked with executive management and boards of directors of clients that included several major hospitality companies in addition to Choice. From 1987 to 1993, Pacious served as a U.S. Navy officer in surface warfare and strategic planning.
Pacious received his bachelor’s degree in political science and Latin American studies from Duke University. He earned a master’s degree in business administration from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. Pacious serves on the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts’ board of directors.
Speaking at International Hospitality Investment Forum
Global CEOs: The Only Way Is Up - Hospitality Leadership in a Brave New World
The lows have been low, but for our CEO panel there is only blue sky ahead as they discuss how best to thrive in the 'new normal'.