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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Kimberly Kalkhoff
June 14, 2006   Heartland Inns of America
    (319) 235-1025
  Contact: Chuck Reed
    American Cancer Society
    (515) 727-0079

American Cancer Society Applauds Hotel Chain's Leadership

WATERLOO, Iowa-Heartland Inns of America, LLC, with 19 locations in Iowa and Wisconsin, announced today that it will be the first moderately-priced hotel chain of its size to implement a 100-percent, smoke-free policy.

In response to growing guest demand for comfortable, quality accommodations in a healthy, smoke-free environment, effective immediately all 19 Heartland Inn facilities will be 100-percent smoke free, including all guest rooms and public areas.

"Now guests can sleep and breathe easier in every room at every Heartland Inn," said Barb Cullinan, Heartland Inns of America, director of operations. "Our operating philosophy has always been 'do right' when it comes to our guests and this smoke-free policy is definitely the right thing to do for our guests' and employees' health and overall quality of life."

Heartland Inns guest requests for non-smoking rooms have steadily increased over the past several years, as more businesses have banished smoking in public areas. Airlines were the first sector of the U.S. travel industry to ban smoking in compliance with a 1990 law.

"We commend Heartland Inns for taking their guests' health to heart, and for taking a stand in the hospitality industry as one of the first hotel chains in the nation to implement a 100-percent, smoke-free policy," said Gretchen Tegeler, American Cancer Society, state vice president, Iowa.

In coordination with the American Cancer Society, Heartland Inns will provide hotel guests with smoking cessation informational materials during the hotel group's smoke-free policy rollout in June. Heartland Inns and the American Cancer Society have been partnering since 2002.

Former smoking rooms have undergone the necessary renovations to eliminate smoke odors. Pending each individual room's need, renovations ranged from special cleaning treatments to replacement of carpets, drapes, bedspreads and other materials. Heartland Inns' director of operations is personally inspecting every former smoking room to ensure its successful conversion. This effort is part of a larger chain-wide renovations project that has been ongoing since last summer and includes a new fresh logo on Heartland Inns' highway signage.

"Consistency is a priority of ours," said Kimberly Kalkhoff, Heartland Inns of America, executive director of sales and marketing. "You never have to guess when it comes to Heartland Inns. When we make changes it encompasses every room at every Heartland."

Previously, Heartland Inns invested close to $1 million to replace every mattress throughout its chain with a new Serta Perfect Pillow-Top SleeperŪ. Other recent industry-leading innovations from Heartland Inns include being one of the first hotel chains in Iowa to provide free high-speed wireless Internet access in every guest room and common area of every Heartland Inn location.

Heartland Inns of America, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Heartland Midwest Management Group headquartered in Waterloo, Iowa, was founded in 1984 and grew to a hotel chain with 19 locations in Iowa and Wisconsin. The hotel group offers a reasonable rate for quality, comfortable accommodations while offering a full-range of amenities including complimentary hearty breakfasts, Wednesday evening guests' receptions and business services. Heartland Inns also feature swimming pools at most locations and complimentary shuttle service at the Iowa City and Des Moines Airport locations.

Heartland Inns has locations in: Altoona, Ames, Ankeny, Bettendorf, Cedar Rapids, Clear Lake, Council Bluffs, Davenport, Decorah, Des Moines, Dubuque, Iowa City, Mount Pleasant, Ottumwa and Waterloo, Iowa; and Eau Claire, Wisconsin. For more information, visit www.heartlandinns.com.

Editor's note: Interview opportunities will be available at select Heartland Inn locations during the evening guests' receptions, 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. today. Media can interview managers and guests regarding the 100-percent, smoke-free policy. Call Kimberly Kalkhoff at 319-235-1025 to arrange interviews.

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