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Author Topic: Anyone Have Old Chain Motel Directories?  (Read 1981 times)

roadman65

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Anyone Have Old Chain Motel Directories?
« on: December 05, 2021, 11:57:38 AM »

Howard Johnson, Holiday Inn, Ramada, Motel 6 ( I believe they still are in print), Days Inn, etc.

Does anyone here collect them?
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Re: Anyone Have Old Chain Motel Directories?
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2021, 12:33:47 PM »

I used to collect them.  Red Roof Inn was a particular favorite, as they were smallish.  I think you can still find them in their rooms, but it’s been at least a year since I’ve stayed at one.

The Holiday Inn ones were pretty cool back in the 80’s and 90’s.  It’s amazing to see how their locations have changed over the years.  Very few vanilla HI locations left, as they’re mostly Express or Select now.
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dlsterner

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Re: Anyone Have Old Chain Motel Directories?
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2021, 01:14:07 PM »

Used to when I was a kid.  Had plenty of ones from Holiday Inn mostly, dating from the early 1970's.  Also some from Ramada Inn, Days Inn, Howard Johnson from the mid-1970's.  Collected them since I enjoyed going through them, not that I thought they were collectables.  Also had plenty of state road maps from the same era - AAA and Gulf typically, which were a year out of date as they were hand-me-downs from my father.

Sadly, I think most of them had been tossed by now.  As I said I never thought of them as collectables.

Not a chain motel, but one I do still have somewhere is a Stuckey's directory, probably from the late 1970's.  Back then in the Southeast, just about the only food options that you could see from the interstate were usually Stuckey's, right at the exit.

Jim

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Re: Anyone Have Old Chain Motel Directories?
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2021, 01:17:51 PM »

I'm sure I could dig up some 1980's to early-2000's directories from Super 8, Motel 6, Choice Hotels, Best Western.  They were an important part of traveling without set reservations before the Internet, and even beyond before everyone had an smartphone or tablet with data service.
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Road Hog

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Re: Anyone Have Old Chain Motel Directories?
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2021, 09:57:39 PM »

I'm old enough to remember when having a Holiday Inn was a status symbol for your community. I'm barely smart enough to remember rolling my eyes at a Holiday Inn Express coming in about 35 years ago.

That's today's standard.
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GCrites80s

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Re: Anyone Have Old Chain Motel Directories?
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2021, 10:02:32 PM »

I'm trying to get started but most of the ones I see so far are from before I was alive -- which to me isn't as interesting. Also ones after 2000 or so aren't that interesting to me either since things haven't changed as much since then. I do have a few from the late 2000s I grabbed just because they were there.

I also have one of these:

that I picked up at a thrift store. It lets you look up exit numbers to see what services they have. It does not do that for exits inside beltways though.
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Scott5114

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Re: Anyone Have Old Chain Motel Directories?
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2021, 12:24:12 AM »

Never had chain motel directories, but I did have a few of those guidebooks that would list exits along a particular interstate, along with coupons for food and lodging at each exit. If I remember correctly, they skipped exits where none of the businesses placed an ad in the book. There were also some fantastically terrible maps in them.

I threw those out long ago, when I discovered roadgeek-created exit lists and started a state DOT map collection in earnest.
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lepidopteran

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Re: Anyone Have Old Chain Motel Directories?
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2021, 12:12:44 AM »

I've scanned in a Holiday Inn guide from 1983 (USA properties only), as part of a FB group effort to identify all the "Great Sign" locations.

It may be downloaded as a PDF here.
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bandit957

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Re: Anyone Have Old Chain Motel Directories?
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2021, 10:40:28 AM »

I used to have some from Holiday Inn. I thought these directories were the coolest thing when I was growing up.

I remember the maps were in green, but I remember a long, long, long time ago, they were blue. I have a very faint memory of this.
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iowahighways

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Re: Anyone Have Old Chain Motel Directories?
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2021, 09:20:57 PM »

I've scanned in a Holiday Inn guide from 1983 (USA properties only), as part of a FB group effort to identify all the "Great Sign" locations.

It may be downloaded as a PDF here.

Nice. My grandparents had a guide like that from either 1983 or 1984 when I was growing up.

I think the only Holiday Inn from that guide in Iowa that's still a Holiday Inn is the one in downtown Des Moines off I-235. All the others have either been demolished and/or converted to other brands.
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Re: Anyone Have Old Chain Motel Directories?
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2021, 09:44:36 PM »

Never had chain motel directories, but I did have a few of those guidebooks that would list exits along a particular interstate, along with coupons for food and lodging at each exit. If I remember correctly, they skipped exits where none of the businesses placed an ad in the book. There were also some fantastically terrible maps in them.

I threw those out long ago, when I discovered roadgeek-created exit lists and started a state DOT map collection in earnest.

On that note, there was the Interstate Exit Authority in the late 1990s, which I got some exit list data from when I first started my site… until I drove the Interstates in question myself.
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hbelkins

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Re: Anyone Have Old Chain Motel Directories?
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2021, 01:17:23 PM »

We used to pick them up when I was a kid, and many of them were from either Holiday Inn or Howard Johnson's, as we tended to stay at those places a lot on trips. Less frequently would we stay at a Travelodge or Best Western. Later on, Days Inn and Super 8 became common, we picked up a few of those directories on travels.

The last physical directories I can remember having in my possession were from Super 8 (picked one up for my dad in 1991 because of a trip he was planning), and then in more recent years, Microtel and Red Roof Inn. I think most chains had quit publishing printed guides by that time.
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DenverBrian

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Re: Anyone Have Old Chain Motel Directories?
« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2021, 01:52:58 PM »

Don't forget Best Western! And also don't forget that before Best Western became the national brand, there were Best Easterns.
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cabiness42

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Re: Anyone Have Old Chain Motel Directories?
« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2021, 02:20:15 PM »

When I was a kid, our family took lots of road trips. Went to California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Washington DC.

We stayed exclusively at Days Inns. I remember the directories that we had. Dad would pick out locations that had a swimming pool, and also had a bar on or adjacent to the property. My sister and I would get to swim before dinner, and then after dinner we watched TV in the room while my parents went to the bar.

Sorry, I don't still have the directories though. They've long since been thrown out.
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bandit957

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Re: Anyone Have Old Chain Motel Directories?
« Reply #14 on: December 08, 2021, 02:44:34 PM »

For some reason, everyone else kept insisting on watching TV at the hotel instead of going out and doing cool things. I remember one trip which was probably one in Ohio when I was 5. Everyone else just wanted to watch 'Donny & Marie', but I sat at a desk in the room and looked at the Holiday Inn directory. I think the directory was gray, or maybe that was a different directory in the late '70s. This would have been 1978.
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GCrites80s

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Re: Anyone Have Old Chain Motel Directories?
« Reply #15 on: December 08, 2021, 05:10:32 PM »

It will also remind you about how cheap hotel rooms were before in-room internet and free-long-distance cell phones became popular. They really made a lot of money off of charging you for phone calls and movies (and earlier stuff like vibrating beds and TVs that you had to pump coins into). Once that was over the rooms really jumped in cost.

There were plenty of times in the '90s that we paid 28 bucks a night for a room at a Days Inn, Red Roof or Best Western.
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Jim

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Re: Anyone Have Old Chain Motel Directories?
« Reply #16 on: December 09, 2021, 10:54:27 AM »

This thread brings to mind the old Best Western commercials where they would always sing the jingle that included the reservation phone number: 1-800-528-1234.  It's a number I can't help but remember even decades after the ad campaign ended.  Here's one such ad:


Another I remember but not quite as well was Sheraton:

« Last Edit: December 09, 2021, 10:56:48 AM by Jim »
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bandit957

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Re: Anyone Have Old Chain Motel Directories?
« Reply #17 on: December 09, 2021, 11:07:00 AM »

Holiday Inn directories switched to a larger page size around 1980.

I remember around that time, the directories were sprinkled with big color photos advertising itself. I think they used the same man in each of the photos. In one of them, he was sleeping. In another, he was relaxing by the pool. I think there were others too. I think in one of the photos, he was wearing Mr. Hooper-style glasses.
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GCrites80s

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Re: Anyone Have Old Chain Motel Directories?
« Reply #18 on: December 09, 2021, 08:28:32 PM »

These also have shining examples of businesses distorting maps to suit their needs.
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Sctvhound

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Re: Anyone Have Old Chain Motel Directories?
« Reply #19 on: December 09, 2021, 11:00:56 PM »

The round Holiday Inn in Charleston, SC is still around. That opened in the early 70s.
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bandit957

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Re: Anyone Have Old Chain Motel Directories?
« Reply #20 on: December 09, 2021, 11:02:53 PM »

I remember a couple times in the Holiday Inn directories, it would say something like, "There is a hotel called Holiday Inn at 1300 Main Street in Bipville, Wisconsin. However, it is not part of this Holiday Inn chain."
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GenExpwy

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Re: Anyone Have Old Chain Motel Directories?
« Reply #21 on: December 10, 2021, 02:21:42 AM »

I remember a couple times in the Holiday Inn directories, it would say something like, "There is a hotel called Holiday Inn at 1300 Main Street in Bipville, Wisconsin. However, it is not part of this Holiday Inn chain."

That was a “Holiday Inn” in Niagara Falls, Ontario.
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Re: Anyone Have Old Chain Motel Directories?
« Reply #22 on: December 10, 2021, 05:17:45 AM »

I don't have any old directories, but I did once know one of the descendants of a relative of the Days of Days Inn.
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DenverBrian

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Re: Anyone Have Old Chain Motel Directories?
« Reply #23 on: December 10, 2021, 10:12:11 AM »

The round Holiday Inn in Charleston, SC is still around. That opened in the early 70s.
Also Long Beach, CA.
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