Lehman Brothers Collection - Contemporary Business Archives

Harvard Business School Baker Library Historical Collections

Lehman Brothers Collection

Twentieth-Century Business Archives

Holiday Inns, Inc. - Lehman Brothers Collection

Holiday Inns, Inc.

List of Deals

Holiday Inns, Inc., was established in 1952 by Kemmons Wilson. The roots of the success of Holiday Inns lay in Americans' fascination with vacations, which took shape around the 1930s. The popularity of the automobile, the lure of wilderness areas, the availability of campgrounds, and the infatuation with being a tourist also contributed to this fascination. Wilson opened his first hotel in Memphis, Tennessee. The property included 120, rooms each with, according to the company, "a private bath, air conditioning, and telephone." The property also included a swimming pool, free ice, free parking, and dog kennels.

The company went public in 1957; its entire offering was sold on the first day. Five years later, the company's stock was traded on the New York Stock Exchange. In the 1960s, Holiday Inn hotels were opened in Canada and throughout Western Europe, while continuing to expand in the United States. The company described its rate of expansion as a new property added "every two-and-a-half days." By 1970 the company estimated its gross sales at over $1.2 billion.

Harvard Business School Harvard Business School Baker Library Histrorical Collections