The shortcut to this transformation: get existing independent hotels to join the chain. New brands have been created, letting these properties keep their identity but still leverage the larger brand's reservation system and loyalty program. Hotel owners supposedly see more business. Guest get a branded seal of approval for an otherwise unknown hotel. And the hotel chains quickly increase management fee revenue without spending money to develop new properties. Plus, there are only so many new hotels being built each year. Starwood Hotels & Resorts and Marriott International were among the first major chains to fold independent hotels into their system with Starwood's Luxury Collection and Marriott's Autograph Collection. Hilton Worldwide followed with the Curio Collection. Choice Hotels — best known for Comfort Inn — has the Ascend Hotel Collection. Get the full story at ABC News