THE MOTEL is anything but a novelty these days. Sometimes, it’s the classic city hotel that seems an anachronism. But there was a time when the Holiday Inns and Howard Johnsons were newer, and the motel was a fresh take on an old idea: when you’re travelling, it’s nice to have somewhere comfortable where you can pay to stay. Fortune magazine has a lovely recurring Sunday blog feature called “Fortune Classic” in which it reposts old articles that are still interesting or relevant today… This week, Fortune has put up an article from 1963 about the motel boom — and it shows the beginning of the process that saw motels changed from very spartan to increasingly comfortable and sophisticated.
The 1960’s-era article points out the importance of the motel to the small business owner and the relative lack of interest the media shows to the field in contrast to its sexier urban cousin the hotel.
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