Budgetel Inns Directory, 1987

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In the early 1970s America was in the middle of an economic crisis. With less money to spend, America’s travel plans understandably changed. Once affordable chains like Howard Johnson and Holiday Inn had essentially become hotels and with the hotel amenities such as a pool, restaurant, and often a night club, prices had gotten too high for a family looking to just stay somewhere decent to stay for a night. New motels with fewer frills and a lower price were now in vogue.

Budget motel chains such as TraveLodge, Motel 6, Super 8, began to take a much bigger piece of the roadside lodging. These big chains began taking a major hit and were so worried that they both tried budget motel chains offshoots with the short-lived Howard Johnson’s 3-Penny Inns and Holiday Inn, Jr.

1973-09-27 - The Sheboygan Press, 27 Sep 1973, Thu, Page 3
The Sheboygan Press – September 9, 1973

A budget motel arms race  began to build as many economical, inexpensive motels with just the basics – a clean lobby,  hot shower and a place to sleep. The Marcus Corporation, a Milwaukee-based company that ran a series of  theatres, Captain’s Steak Joynts, Big Boy franchises and operated the venerable old Marc Plaza and Pfister Hotels in downtown Milwaukee, wanted to get in on the budget lodging game and began construction on the first motels in the chain in the summer of 1973.

Located in Sheboygan and Oshkosh, Wisconsin, the motels would offer $8 per night rooms “in keeping with the increasing importance of economy in the minds of travelers and consumers.” The Marcus Corp., also announced that a Big Boy franchise would be adjacent door to every future Budgetel.

1973-10-06 - The Oshkosh Northwestern,  06 Oct 1973, Sat,  Main Edition,  Page 16.jpg
A view of the not-yet finished Budgetel in Oshkosh – The Oshkosh Northwestern – October 6, 1973
1975-05-29 - The Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle,  29 May 1975, Thu,  Page 25.jpg
The Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle – May 29, 1975

The Oshkosh located opened on March 8,  1974 and the Sheboygan location, after some construction delays, in November of that year. (The $8 price promised had already been increased to $8.95 by opening and would be $9.50 in 1975). They were an immediate success. A third location in Bloomington, Minnesota would open on June 1, 1975. Two other motels under the Guest House Inns name, were added to the chain.

In the Fall of 1975 the Budgetel would introduce a new idea called the Road Runner Club. According to an advertisement in the Wausau Daily Herald on September 24, 1975, the Road Runner Club was:

A new concept in accommodations for frequent travelers: stay ten nights at any one or all of our Budgetels and Guest House Inns within one year, and your eleventh night is free.”

That incentive program, never before offered by a lodging chain, would reward guests for staying a Marc budget motel. It worked like a charm.

By the 1982 there were twelve Budgetel locations. Over the next fours years, the would be locations  in eighteen states across the Midwest and Southeast. In 1986, when this brochure was published, there were 47 locations with 6 more to open by the end of 1987. One decade later 153 Budgetel properties in thirty states.

In 1998, Marcus Corp. announced that the franchise would change its name name to Baymont. Doris Keller, head of the Company’s Franchise Advisory Council, stated in 1998 interview that the name no longer reflected the subsidiary’s features and amenities. “Budgetel has always been a great hotel product for business and leisure travelers, but the name is a misnomer.”

In July 2004, Marcus Corporation would sell the chain to La Quinta Corporation.. La Quinta was sold in 2005 to the Blackstone Group who in turn sold the Baymont name to what it is now known as Wyndham Worldwide. The Baymont is now part of a group of 15 hotels owned by Wyndham including Super 8 & TraveLodge.

The 1987 brochure offers a glimpse of the Budgetel in all of its 1980s glory. There’s the lobby complete with flowers everywhere at two women with floppy bows.

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A conference room with more flowers, a painting of a flowers, a very modern lamp and a VCR available upon request.

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The last picture shows the Leisure Suite complete with more flowers, a floral bedspread and a woman in a shiny lamé shirt with shoulder pads for days.

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The address listed below were the locations of every Budgetel Inn in 1986 and 1987. The key:
GREEN – Motel still standing, now a Baymont Inn
BLACK – Motel still standing, now a La Quinta Inn
BLUE – Motel still standing but not a Baymont Inn or La Quinta
RED – Motel gone
ORANGE – Actual street location unknown/cannot find current or previous location

ALABAMA
BIRMINGHAM (Open Summer ’87)
513 Cahaba Park
HUNTSVILLE
4890 University Drive NW
MONTGOMERY
5225 Carmichael Rd.

ARKANSAS
FORT SMITH
2123 Burnham Rd.
LITTLE ROCK
1010 Breckenridge

FLORIDA
FORT LAUDERDALE WEST (Open Winter ’87)
Exit #20 east to West Commercial Blvd.
TAMPA EAST
4811 U.S. Hwy 301 North
TAMPA SOUTHEAST
602 S. Falkenburg Rd.

GEORGIA
ATLANTA (Lenox-Buckhead)
2535 Chantilly Dr. NE
ATLANTA (Peachtree-Norcross)
5395 Peachtree Industrial Blvd. Norcross, GA
BRUNSWICK
105 Tourist Dr.
COLUMBUS
2919 Warm Springs Rd.

ILLINOIS
CHICAGO NW (Glenview)
1625 Milwaukee Ave.
CHICAGO NW (Hoffman Estates)
2075 Barrington Rd.
CHICAGO SOUTH (South Holland)
17225 Halsted St.
DECATUR
5100 Hickory Point Frontage Rd.
WILLOWBROOK (Hinsdale)
16 W. 395 79th St.

INDIANA
FORT WAYNE
1005 W. Washington Center Rd.
INDIANAPOLIS – AIRPORT
2650 Executive Dr.

LOUISIANA
BATON ROUGE
10555 Rieger Rd.

MASSACHUSETTS
WORCESTER/AUBURN
444 Southbridge St.

MICHIGAN
DETROIT WEST (Canton)
41211 Ford Rd.
DETROIT AIRPORT
900 Wickham Rd.
DETROIT (Roseville)
20675 13 Mile Road
JACKSON
2035 Service Dr.
WARREN
30900 Van Dyke Rd.

MINNESOTA
MINNEAPOLIS-AIRPORT
7815 Nicollet Avenue St.
MINNEAPOLIS NORTH
6415 James Circle N.

MISSISSIPPI
MERIDIAN
730 Roebuck Dr.

MISSOURI
NORTH KANSAS CITY
2214 Taney
ST. LOUIS (Westpoint)
12300 Dorsett Rd.
ST. LOUIS SOUTH (Festus) (Open September ’87)
1303 Veterans Blvd.

NEBRASKA
OMAHA
10760 M Street

OHIO
CINCINNATI NORTH
12150 Springfield Pike
CLEVELAND (Independence)
6161 Quarry Lane
CLEVELAND (Mayfield Heights)
1421 Golden Gate Blvd.

SOUTH CAROLINA
COLUMBIA EAST
1538 Horseshoe Dr.
COLUMBIA WEST
911 Bush River Rd.

TENNESSEE
JACKSON
2370 N. Highland Ave.
MEMPHIS
6020 Shelby Oaks Dr.
MEMPHIS AIRPORT
3005 Mill Branch Rd.
NASHVILLE AIRPORT
531 Donelson Pike
NASHVILLE NORTH (Open Late Summer ’87)
120 Cartwright Ct.

TEXAS
DALLAS (Plano) (Open August ’87)
621 Central Parkway East

WISCONSIN
APPLETON
2930 W. College Ave.
KENOSHA
7540 118th Ave.
MANITOWOC
908 Washington St.
MILWAUKEE NORTHEAST
5100 N. Port Washington Rd.
MILWAUKEE NORTHWEST
5442 N. Lovers Lane Rd.
MILWAUKEE SOUTH-AIRPORT (Open Winter ’87)
13th St. at Rawson Ave.
MILWAUKEE WEST
20391 West Bluemound Rd.
OSHKOSH
1950 Omro Rd.
WAUSAU
1910 Stewart Ave.

WISCONSIN AFFILIATE
GUEST HOUSE INN
APPLETON
3730 W. College Ave.

Coming in Spring of 1988 an all new Guest House Suites.

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