In , InterContinental announced a billion ce lift for its Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express chains. The company would spend million of its funds on the effort, leaving franchisees to shoulder the bulk of the expenses. During the project, hotel owners refurbished and modernized their hotels interiors, furnished rooms with new bedding and shower heads, and raised customer service standards to comply with new IHG mandates. As of time of publication, franchise owners had renovated more than , of the chains hotels.
Orrill, Jim. The History of Holiday Inn Hotels.
Holiday Inn embraced technological innovation during its expansion, contracting IBM to design and implement the chains Holidex system in . This computerized system made booking more efficient for guests and desk clerks alike, and provided a constant flow of information between the chains hotels and the home office in Memphis. In , Holiday Inn became the first chain hotel to allow guests to book directly through the hotels website.
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Bass, a brewery and pub owner in the United Kingdom, purchased Holiday Inns International in to gain a foothold in the international hospitality industry. In , Bass added the chains North American properties to its portfolio. Bass continued to buy hotel chains throughout the s, and in , the company changed its name to Six Continents PLC to reflect its ersified range of service offerings. In , Six Continents spun off its hospitality business from its retail operations, creating InterContinental Hotels Group PLC, a distinct corporate entity with its own publicly traded shares.
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Since Jim Orrill has produced reviews and essays on popular culture for publications including Lemurvision and Sexis. Based in Western North Carolina, Orrill graduated cum laude from the University of North Carolina with a bachelors degree in office systems.
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The billion highway development project of provided Wilson the perfect opportunity to expand his business, as milies took to the new freeways to explore the country. Wilson began recruiting investors in , and the company offered its stock publicly in to generate capital for the chains continuing expansion. The company also opened the Holiday Inn Leiden in , its first European hotel, and in , Holiday Inn became the first hotel chain to exceed billion in revenues.
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Orrill, Jim. The History of Holiday Inn Hotels last modified March , .
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Wilsons vision for Holiday Inn was inspired by a mily road trip, where he found himself dissatisfied with subpar motels along his route, and Wilson was particularly unhappy with hotels that added surcharges for his children. Wilson envisioned a chain of clean, affordable hotels along major freeway exits. His original hotel offered rooms with air conditioning, television and telephone. Children under stayed free with their parents, and the hotel had an outdoor swimming pool.
Since Kemmons Wilson built the first Holiday Inn outside Memphis, Tennessee in , the chain, along with its Holiday Inn Express hotels, has expanded to over , hotels worldwide. Every Holiday Inn offered the same features and amenities, ensuring guests knew exactly what to expect from a nights stay, and Wilsons hotels became so successful many of his competitors adopted his standardization model for their chains. Today, InterContinental Hotel Group owns the Holiday Inn brand, and the chain welcomes approximately million guests each year.