Recently I had an opportunity to chat with USA Today's Barbara De Lollis about innovations in Holiday Inn sites and signage. She paraphrased some of our conversation in today's issue:
One reason the Holiday Inn brand holds such potential is that millions of baby boomers who stayed in Holiday Inns as kids still have a deep fascination with the hotel chain, says Andrew Wood, a San Jose State University associate professor who writes about early roadside lodging.You can read the entire article, entitled Holiday Inn chain gives itself a face-lift.
People loved the chain's clean pools, free ice, predictable architecture and its four-story-tall, garish green road signs, he says. Guests were so enamored of it that they made a tradition of stealing the green-and-white-striped logo towel from rooms. Holiday Inn poked fun at the tradition by holding "towel amnesty" days, and in 2005, released a coffee-table book containing stories of guests and their "borrowed" towels.
Fairly soon I'll return to my own writing about Holiday Inn, focusing on their efforts to add some "locale" to omnitopia by reintegrating elements of the "great sign" into their properties. In that same project, I'll likely explore the evolution of Holiday Inn from its motel predecessors. I should have more news about that project in a later post.
For now, here's a brief history of Holiday Inn I wrote some years back.
(Photo by Andrew Wood)