Holiday Inn is an American chain of hotels based in Atlanta, Georgia. and a brand of IHG Hotels & Resorts. The chain was founded in 1952 by Kemmons Wilson, who opened the first location in Memphis, Tennessee that year. The chain was a division of Bass Brewery from 1988-2000, Six Continents from 2000-03, and IHG Hotels & Resorts since 2003. It operates hotels under the names Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Holiday Inn Club Vacations, and Holiday Inn Resorts.

The company’s milestones:

1952 – The first Holiday Inn as “Holiday Inn Hotel Courts”  was opened in Memphis, TN by Kemmons Wilson.

1953 – Three more Holiday Inns were built on U.S. 51 South, Highway 51 North, and U.S. 61.

1954 – The first franchised Holiday Inn in Clarksdale, MS.

1960 – The first international Holiday Inn opened in Canada.

1965 – The chain launched Holidex, a centralized reservation system where a visitor to any Holiday Inn could obtain reservations, by teleprinter, for any other Holiday Inn location. Promoting itself as “your host from coast to coast”.

1971 – The company constructed the Holiday Inn University and Conference Center, a teaching hotel for training new employees, in Olive Branch, Mississippi.

1972 – With over 1,400 Holiday Inns worldwide, Wilson was featured on the cover of Time magazine and the franchise’s motto became “The World’s Innkeeper”.

1973 – The company built the Olive Branch Airport north of the university as a home base for its corporate aircraft.

1988 – Bass purchased Holiday Inns International, which included all properties outside of North American, plus 13 in the United States.

1998 – Bass acquired the InterContinental brand, expanding into the luxury hotel market. In 2000 Bass sold its brewing assets (and the rights to the Bass name) and changed its name to Six Continents PLC.

2008 – IHG announced the creation of a new timeshare brand, Holiday Inn Club Vacations, a strategic alliance with The Family of Orange Lake Resorts.

Holiday Inn currently operates 1,182 motels and hotels in 50 countries, and generates about $1 billion a year.

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