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100 Legacies of Lodging 
  1. E. M. Statler: creator of the modern hotel E. M. Statler: creator of the modern hotel. The lodging industry before the turn of the century had neither the heart, soul, nor vision that this Pennsylvania native brought to his business. In addition to Statler’s detailed and structured approach to service, he also brought hotels the amenities, profits, and reputation that revolutionized the hospitality experience and have thus been built upon for the past 100 years.

  2. J. W. Marriott: philosophic innovator. From a very young age, J. Willard Marriott learned to rely on his own judgment and initiative. It was his pioneering spirit that took Marriott from his first business endeavor harvesting lettuce when he was 13 to creating and leading one of the world’s most respected hotel chains.

  3. David Kong: dishwasher to driven leader.  With nearly 40 years of hospitality management under his belt, David Kong’s tireless need to challenge status quo has catapulted him up the ranks from his first hospitality job as a dishwasher.  As president and CEO of Best Western International, he has brought successive years of double-digit reservations system revenue growth, its healthiest balance sheet ever, and the highest member satisfaction levels. Kong’s secret: he works locally but thinks globally.  

  4. Bill Kimpton: the eternal optimist. Convinced that the average consumer was frustrated by a choice between hotels that were either overly pricey and luxurious or else bland and generic, Bill Kimpton introduced to America the small, European-style hotel, the “boutique” hotel.  His prototype of a tasteful, moderately priced boutique property, often with a high-profile restaurant attached, has been widely emulated.  Read more about how this dedicated hotelier with a limited hospitality background formed his vision of a new hotel concept, and never looked back.

  5. Laurance Spelman Rockefeller: the path to eco-tourism.  Known for his savvy assimilation of luxury hotel resort structures and amenities into tropical landscapes, Laurance Spelman Rockefeller's vision to create exclusive sanctuaries on such quiet Caribbean beaches as Caneel Day and Dorado Beach in the mid-1950s gained him a reputation as a top hotelier.  As a conservationist, his strong belief that building should not intrude on the natural surroundings ushered in what is now known as “eco-tourism.” 

  6. M.K. Guertin: making Best Western a reality.  On a road trip from California to Tacoma, Washington, hotelier M.K. Guertin recorded the distances between motels, paying special attention to those just a tank of gas away from one another, and then published his findings as a guide for road travelers.  The motels began recommending one another to guests, and in 1946, what began simply as a network of informally affiliated establishments become Best Western Hotels.

  7. Jack DeBoer: accidental extended-stay visionary. A successful apartment developer who is best known as the forefather of the extended-stay concept, Jack DeBoer came up with the idea by chance.  He built the first Residence Inn in 1975 in Wichita when the only way to finance new structures was to secure lodging rates.  He founded several all-suite chains, including Residence Inns, Summerfield Hotel Corporation, and Candlewood Hotel Company.  The concept resonated with business travelers and is now a mainstay of the industry.

  8. Kemmons Wilson: changing the motel landscapeKemmons Wilson: changing the motel landscape. In 1951, Kemmons Wilson, the 38-year-old future founder of the Holiday Inn hotel chain, decided to take his wife and children on vacation to Washington, D.C., and drive the 800 miles from Memphis.  After experiencing at a number of motels dotting the highways between the two cities, Wilson vowed to get into the motel business and make some changes.  Within a matter of years his company consisted of more than 450 properties.  Along the way, he set the industry parameter for room size (12 feet by 30 feet), along with design, amenities (including free TV), franchising, and development.  

  9. Jay Pritzker: the airport innovatorJay Pritzker: the airport innovator. In 1957, while waiting for a flight at a Los Angeles International Airport hotel coffee shop, Jay Pritzker noticed the shop seemed to be unusually busy, and the hotel did not have any vacancies. The hotel -- named after its owner, Hyatt von Dehn -- was for sale, and Pritzker decided on the spot to buy it, writing his offer of $2.2 million on a napkin.  Pritzker bet, correctly, that business executives like himself would want to stay at a high-quality hotel near a large airport. After building a second Hyatt hotel in Burlingame, Calif., near San Francisco International Airport, Jay and his brothers went on to develop properties near airports in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle, then around the country and internationally.

  10. Curt Carlson: the birth of an empire. Having founded the Gold Bond Stamp Company in 1938 with a $55 loan, Curt Carlson decided to diversify in 1962 with the purchase of the Radisson, the premier hotel in Minniapolis.  Carlson Companies expanded to become one of the largest privately held corporations in the world and includes Regent International Hotels, Radisson Hotels & Resorts, Country Inns & Suites By Carlson, TGI Friday’s, and the Radisson Seven Seas luxury cruise line.

  11. Stewart Bainum: from plumbing contractor to international franchisor. Stewart Bainum franchised his first motel with Quality Courts Motels in 1963, and by 1968 heoperated eight nursing homes, incorporating them as Manor Care, Inc., while grouping five motels, franchised with Quality Courts Motels, under the name Park Consolidated Motels, Inc. In that year, Bainum merged Park Consolidated with Quality Courts, becoming president and chief financial officer of a company which by then represented 410 franchised and 12 company-owned motels. Within two years, Quality Courts operated franchised motels in 33 states, and began its first international operations. In 1980 Bainum merged Manor Care and Quality, with Manor Care purchasing Quality for $37 million.

  12. Conrad Hilton: International EntrepreneurConrad Hilton: International Entrepreneur – In concert with his father, Conrad Hilton had helped build up an inn as well as a general store in Socorro County, New Mexico, but he then moved to Texas. He entered the hotel business by buying the Mobley Hotel in Cisco, Texas, in 1919, and went on to buy hotels throughout Texas. The first high rise hotel he built was the Dallas Hilton, which opened in 1925. He built his first hotel outside of Texas in 1939 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He formed the Hilton Hotels Corporation in 1946 followed by Hilton International Company in 1948. The company expanded into credit cards (Carte Blanche), car rentals, and other travel services. During the Great Depression Hilton was nearly forced into bankruptcy and lost several of his hotels. He was retained as manager, however, and eventually bought them back. During the post-war period, the 1950s and 1960s, Hilton Hotels' worldwide expansion facilitated both American tourism and overseas business by United States corporations. At the same time it promulgated a certain worldwide standard for hotel accommodations. It was the world's first international hotel chain.

  13. Laurance Spelman Rockefeller: Pioneer in Conversation - Rockefeller was known for his savvy assimilation of luxury hotel resort structures and amenities into tropical landscapes. His vision to create exclusive sanctuaries on such quiet Caribbean beaches as Caneel Day and Dorado Beach in the mid-1950s gained him a reputation as a top hotelier. A conservationist, his strong belief that buildings should not intrude on the natural surroundings ushered in what is now known as “eco-tourism.”

  14. M.K. Guertin: The Foundation of a Franchise - On a road trip from California to Tacoma, Washington, hotelier M.K. Guertin recorded the distances between motels, paying special attention to those just a tank of gas away from one another, and then published his findings as a guide for road travelers. The motels began recommending one another to guests, and in 1946, what began simply as a network of informally affiliated establishments become Best Western Hotels.

  15. The 2010 AH&LA Stars of the Industry employee award winners are legacies in the making. Read more about them here.

  16. Nancy JohnsonNancy Johnson: paving the way for women. An accomplished leader in hospitality, Nancy Johnson climbed her way to executive vice president and chief development officer for Carlson Hotels Worldwide, and she wanted to make sure other motivated women had the same opportunities to succeed. Under her direction, AH&LA created the Women In Lodging (WIL) membership category in 2007, which unified hundreds of female hospitality professionals around a common goal: success. Johnson will be the 2012 chair of the board of AH&LA.

  17. Jonathon Tisch: community-centered leadership. Since 1989 Jonathon Tisch has been head of Loews Hotels, achieving growth through community involvement. In addition to making several notable donations to numerous organizations, Tisch was responsible for leading the Minority Business Enterprise Program, giving minority-owned businesses the opportunity to partner with Loews, and for ensuring the company upheld environmentally responsible best practices.

  18. Kathleen Taylor: the eye for the perfect employee. As CEO of the Four Seasons, Kathleen Taylor ensures this luxury chain is complemented by the highest level of service. All employees are vetted through five rounds of interviews, including the housekeepers and kitchen cleaners, before being hired. But more importantly, Taylor states, “…we hire for attitude before skill.” And she says she can recognize a Four Seasons employee anywhere. When she does, she instantly jots a note of servers, waiters, concierges, or anyone who makes an impression.

  19. Jim Abrahamson: Love (for hotels) conquers all. Before becoming president of InterContinental Hotels Group, the Americas, Jim Abrahamson held a series of hospitality jobs. Paying his way through college by working at restaurants and hotels, Abrahamson “earned while he learned.” Upon graduation, he turned down a job in banking to work in the Granada Royale in Minnesota. From there he held a series of GM positions, never straying from the industry. After more than 30 years, he’s now the head of the world’s largest hotel company.

  20. Eric Danziger: A career of opening doors. While Eric Danziger is Wyndham Hotel Group president and CEO, he started out in the industry opening doors for guests as a bellman at San Francisco's historic Fairmont Hotel in 1971. He now leads the Wyndham Hotel Group, which encompasses nearly 7,200 hotels and approximately 607,000 rooms under 12 hotel brands. He is quite passionate about the hospitality business and will often say he still is "opening doors" for people.

  21. Joe McInerney: A hotelier on a mission. With nearly 50 years experience in the industry, there’s nowhere Joe McInerney hasn’t been. Getting his start at the Sheraton in Chicago, he climbed the ranks and moved from his hometown to Boston for the next 20 years. Landing the job as president of Forte Hotels, he then moved to San Diego, only to leave four years later for Bangkok to run PATA. His career finally brought him to DC as president and CEO of AH&LA in 2001, where he’s able to give back to the industry that shaped who he is today.

  22. Donald TrumpDonald Trump: The name says it all. “Trump” is part of the title of all Donald Trump’s hotels and casinos, because it’s synonymous with class and quality. The son of a successful property developer, Trump learned from his father, his mentor. Working side-by-side for five years after he finished business school, Trump’s father said “everything [Donald] touches turns to gold.” Trump soon entered the Manhattan real estate scene on his own, acquiring some of the most prestigious properties in the city.

  23. Steve Joyce: Leading through volunteering. Steve Joyce is more than just the president and CEO of Choice Hotels International. He’s the chair of the U.S. Travel Association, AH&LA’s Multicultural Diversity Advisory Council, and of the International Franchise Association franchisor forum. He also holds leadership positions with the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, the Autism Learning Center as a board member; and ServiceSource Foundation, proving you’re never too busy to give back.

 
 
 

100th Picture
 
The Time Capsule Project  Celebrating 100 Years of Hospitality. Continuing the Legacy.