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. It worked.
The Rowntowner Motor Inn brand was introduced in 1967 to designate locations more in the suburbs than downtown.
American downtown life declined heavily in the late 1960/early 1970s. Businesses, hotels, everything was moving away from the downtown area. The hotels were struggling to stay afloat and so was the Downtowner chain.
This 1968 brochure was printed right at the beginning of the chain’s slow, downward turn.
The company was sold to Aetna Life and Casualty Insurance in 1971 and sold again the next year to Perkins Pancake House. The company’s headquarters moved west. In 1973 the company was sold again for a third time and two years later a fourth time.
Twenty plus locations remained open through the eighties when the company was sold yet again for a fifth and final time. By 1993 there were only two locations left. Now there are none.
The locations below are what was listed in the 1968 book. A red link means the building is gone and a blue link indicates that the motel still stands under a different name.
The postcards and clippings below will directly underneath the location posted.
4th and Quintard [torn down Fall 2013]
5th Ave. North & 23rd Street [torn down between 2003-2005]
440 Johnston St. SE
400 S. Court St.
Times Daily – September 23, 1965
HOT SPRINGS NATIONAL PARK
135 Central Ave.
6th & Center St. [torn down in early 2000s]
S. Orange Ave. & Jackson St.
Combined advantages of Motel and Hotel facilities in a Downtown location. 112 Spacious rooms – Color TV – Swimming Pool – Free Parking – Free Phone-A-Towner reservations to other Downtowner, Rowntowner Motor Inn and Royal Coach Inns.
732 Oglethorpe [torn down in 2011]
Milledge and Lumpkin
231 Ivy St. NE at Harris
Fourth & 14th Street
609 Thornton Ave.
201 West Oglethorpe
400 North 9th St.
Restaurant – Free Parking – TV – HiFi – Free Reservation Service – Heated Swimming Pool – Private Meeting Rooms – Ultra Modern accommodations – In the Heart of Downtown
We are located between Lincoln’s Home and Lincoln’s Tomb.
Tony’s Restaurant in the Springfield Downtowner postcard courtesy of Neat Stuff Blog
347 E. Main St.
155 air-conditioned rooms with TV, Musak, pool, direct dial phones. In the center of town, 5 blocks from UK. Bar and restaurant.
LAFAYETTE – ROWNTOWNER
108 Frontage Rd.
Bourbon and Toulouse
NEW ORLEANS – ROWNTOWNER
3900 Tulane Avenue
Market and Travis
The Times – August 13, 1968
BALTIMORE – ROWNTOWNER
Franklin & Paca Sts.
381 West Muskegon Ave.
Downtown Muskegon, Michigan, northbound business route US-31, I-96 and M-46. 104 Rooms, dining, Cocktails, Swimming pool, Meeting and conference facilities, Color TV.
305 East Second St.
321 Main St.
Washington and Poplar
The Delta Democrat-Times – April 17, 1968
Eleventh Street, Highway 49 and 82 By-Pass76 Units – 1 1/2 Miles SW on US 49-82 By-Pass – Two-Story Motel – TV, A/C, Phones-Combination Baths – Pool – Dining Room and Cocktail Lounge.
225 East Capitol
Clarion-Ledger – July 27, 1968
1914 Eleventh Street
1315 Walnut Street
111 East Broadway
13th & Central
Luxurious travel – living in the center of things – Walking distance to business – shopping – entertainment facilities. Spacious rooms – Free TV – Swimming Pool – Free Park – Free Reservations Service to All Downtowners Nationwide.
12th and Washington
717 Central, NWOn U.S. 66, 717 Central Avenue, NW
In the heart of downtown., PAT free reservation service, ultra modern accommodations, free parking, free tv – HiFi. Heated swimming pool, private meeting rooms, reasonable rates
Albuquerque Journal – December 24, 1968
Don Gaspar at Alameda
155 Broad Street EastThe beautiful swimming pool at the Downtowner Motor Inn, in the heart of downtown Rochester, New York.
Democrat and Chronicle – November 29, 1968
84 Sweeney Street
120 Patton Avenue
Asheville Citizen-Times – August 20, 1968
West Trade & Mint
309 W. Chapel Hill Street
134 Rowan Street
210 South Center
Hillsboro and Dawson
128 North Cherry
621 Market Street, NW
OKLAHOMA CITY – ROWNTOWNER
U.S. 66 Across From Penn Square Shopping Center
Fourth and Cheyenne93 Guest Rooms – Swimming Pool – Restaurant and Meeting Rooms.
Located in the Heart of the Oil Capitol
Phone LU 3-6251
All Color TV – Free Parking
Main and Lady
Irby at Palmetto St.
Main and Oak.
MANNING – ROWNTOWNER
I-95 and U.S. 301
Jct. I-95 & U.S. 301, Manning, S.C.
100 rooms, connecting units, individually controlled heat and air conditioning. Color TV in every room. Direct dial phones, 2 heated pools, restaurant and lounge. Credit cards welcome. Near Lake Marion.
333 Oakland Ave.
Main at Loring
The Sumter Daily Item – August 30, 1968
9th and Carter St.
Baltimore and Highland
Shelby and Center
Kingsport Times – March 8, 1968
160 Union Avenue
126 Ultra Modern Rooms, Free Parking
Two Restaurants, Swimming Pool
All in the Heart of Downtown Memphis
7th and Union Avenue
The Tennessean – December 12, 1968
Pine and North Fifth
4th and Polk St.
The Amarillo Globe-Times – December 20, 1968
Eleventh and San Jacinto
Shoreline and Schatzel
The Corpus Christi Caller-Times – May 17, 1968
Main and Kansas St.
El Paso Herald-Post – July 1, 1968
10th and Houston Streets
Texas and Fannin Streets
215 East Methvin
The Longview Daily News – November 9, 1968
401 West Missouri
Eleventh and Austin
SALT LAKE CITY – ROWNTOWNER
1500 West Temple
NW Highways 250 and 29
105 North Main Street
Seventh and Marshall
Bullitt and Jefferson
10th and Main Street
1719 Central Ave.Cheyenne’s newest and most modern motor hotel – 88 air conditioned units – Famous Pancake House Restaurant – Dining room – Bar and lounge – Heated Garage – Parking free – Enclosed year around swimming pool – Banquet & meeting rooms & free television and Hi Fi. In the heart of Downtown Cheyenne, 1719 Central Ave.
Downtowner Sao Paulo
Costera-Miguel – Aleman No. 44
DOWNTOWNER/ROWNTOWNER MOTOR INNS UNDER CONSTRUCTION (With Opening Date)
Biloxi, Mississippi – (September, 1969)
Denver, Colorado – (Spring, 1969)
Gatlinburg, Tennessee – (addition) (June, 1969)
McKeesport, Pennsylvania – (May, 1969)
Memphis, Tennessee – (addition) (Spring 1969)
Milwaukee, Wisconsin – (Spring, 1969)
Newark, New Jersey – (January, 1970)
Gallup, New Mexico
Greensboro, North Carolina
Madison, Wisconsin [West Washington and N. Broom St.]
OTHER LOCATIONS THAT EXISTED AFTER THIS BOOKLET WAS PUBLISHED:
Rochester, New York – ROWNTOWNER
800 Jefferson Road
Cincinnati, Ohio – ROWNTOWNER
I-75 at Buttermilk in Northern Kentucky