Welcome Break, the motorway services operator, is to spend £18m converting its 17 budget hotels into Days Inns following a deal with UK master franchise holder Premier Hotels.
The first six, including two newly built properties in Derby and Leicester, are to open in October. Premier's first owned Days Inn, a 162-bedroom property in London's Waterloo, is also due to open in October. Welcome Break wants to have at least 21 Days Inns open by the end of 2001.
The former Welcome Lodges used to be Travelodges before Granada sold Welcome Break to Middle Eastern financier Investcorp in 1997 for £476m.
It has since introduced a range of high-street names to the sites through franchise agreements, including Burger King, KFC and Garfunkel's.
Days Inn, a subsidiary of the US Cendant Corporation, has 1,850 franchised hotels worldwide.