Holiday Inn 1956 Directory

In early 1956 Holiday Inn was just beginning to take over as the dominant motel chain. The first Holiday Inn Hotel Courts location opened by Kemmons Wilson at 4941 Summer Ave. in Memphis, Tennessee in the summer of 1952. Within two years three more locations would open in Memphis and a few locations across several…

Read More

Budgetel Inns Directory, 1987

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…

Read More

Koala Inns

Stay with the Frugal Bear! That was the motto of a chain of motels located in the Northeast known as Koala Inns. Koala was another budget motel franchise that sought to entice budget-conscious travelers by providing luxury at a low price. The first Koala Inns location opened in Windsor Locks, Connecticut near Bradley International Airport on…

Read More

Thrifty Scot Motels

Thrifty Scot was a chain of motels across the Midwest. The first location opened on May 13, 1973 in St. Cloud, Minnesota. The chain was started by real estate developers Cy and Dan Brutger and within a few years the chain of no-frills, budget motels thrived. I know that there were at least 28 and…

Read More

Econo-Travel Motor Hotel Directory – Fall, Winter 1974/1975

SPEND A NIGHT, NOT A FORTUNE At the dawn of the 1970s, the motel industry was at a crossroads. Big motel chains had spent the 1960 building large, fancy motels with opulent cocktail lounges and restaurant attached. As the economy struggled, occupancy fell in those motels. To combat this problem the motels would charge more…

Read More

Horn & Hardart Automats in Philadelphia

Horn & Hardart opened their first automat on June 9, 1902. The history of these restaurants and its impact on Philadelphia is beautifully captured in an article by Dr. Stephen Nepa in The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia. The following section is from that 2013 article: Beloved by generations of diners and immortalized in art, song, cinema,…

Read More

Downtowner and Rowntowner Motor Inn Directory – Fall, 1968

Founded 1958, in Memphis, Tennessee, the Downtowner Corporation built and operated all of its own motels. Every Dowtowner Motor Inn was located downtown and offered a no-fills, cheap place to stay for the night. The Downtowner locations were strategically placed near a large hotel or convention center in hopes that business would spill over in their direction.…

Read More

Abra K Dabra: Pizza Magic

Every so often I come across something in my collection that I hadn’t paid much attention to in the past but when I rediscover it I become fascinated and wanted to know more about it. This is a matchbook for a place called Abra K Dabra. There were only two locations listed and it advertised…

Read More