Hotel history

Historical hotels, people and things in hospitality

Sheraton’s Classic Advertising Campaigns

In 1965, the Sheraton Corporation of America, under the leadership of President Ernest Henderson, created a brilliant advertising campaign: “Keyed-up Executives Unwind at Sheraton”. It was broadly promoted all over the U.S. in print media, TV advertising and locally by individual Sheraton Hotels. Among my collection of Sheraton artifacts is a translucent plexiglass paperweight which has a small figure of a businessman with a wind-up key in his back which says “Keyed-Up Executives Unwind at Sheraton”.

Asian American Hotel Owners Association

The Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) is a trade association that represents hotel owners. As of 2018, AAHOA has approximately 18,000 members who incredibly own about half the 50,000 hotels in the United States. If you bear in mind that Indian Americans constitute less than one percent of America's population, the conquest of this business niche is extraordinary. Furthermore, about 70% of all Indian hotel owners are named Patel, a surname that shows that they are members of a Gujarati Hindu subcaste.

John Q. Hammons: Master Hotel Developer and Builder

Among the great hotelier/developers of our time, John Q. Hammons developed 200 hotel properties in 40 states. Hammons disdained standard feasibility studies when assessing potential sites for hotel development. Instead, he relied on his own experience, knowledge and intuition.

Grand Hotel of Mackinac Island

The "Grand" as it is called on the island, is a historic coastal resort with a spectacular 660-foot long, three-story high porch. Below this covered veranda is a manicured lawn sloping down to a formal flower garden where 10,000 geraniums bloom in season among other flower beds with wild blossoms. The hotel is located on Mackinac Island which is in the straits between Lake Michigan and Lake Huron.  It has thrived because of an important decision made in the 1920s.

Brooklyn's Hotel Bossert and St. George Hotel

The Hotel Bossert was built in 1909 by Brooklyn lumber magnate Louis Bossert as a residential hotel in Brooklyn Heights. The historic 14-story, 224-room hotel, once referred to as the “Waldorf-Astoria of Brooklyn,” was owned by the Jehovah’s Witnesses since 1984.