As low-cost hotels continue to lag behind the other segments in the industrywide recovery, several budget chains have begun investing in property-improvement plans and heightened marketing efforts to try shoring up occupancy rates, this feature says. "It makes sense that these hotel brands across the U.S. are trying to attract new travelers, and some of the owners were probably a little lax in their property-improvement plans over the past few years. It's just a question of time until we see the room-rate gains at the lower end, and whether the investment makes sense," said Jan Freitag, a senior vice president at STR.

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