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Everything Comes Back Around

HojoA number of years ago, tired and late, I pulled up in front of my hotel in Wildwood NJ and let out a long sigh. It was a decidedly '60s hotel, the kind with keys (not cards) and room doors opening to the outside balcony. Not what I was expecting from the client who made the reservation.

Which was a good thing...because I was blown away as I walked into the lobby by the attention to detail the owners had exercised as they made this '60s hotel a '60s hotel. Black and white checkerboard tile floors, a jukebox, formica chairs and period lighting put a big smile on my face. Which broadened when I got to my room and found a lava lamp.

And, that's where the Howard Johnson brand has announced it's going with its remaining hotels...back to the '60s.

“Say ‘HoJo’ and people can’t help but to smile as they think back on the memories they’ve made with us over the decades,” said Clem Bence, the brand’s vice president of operations. He promises a "playful" re-design to evoke the nostalgia gene in everyone who remembers the iconic orange roofline, family road trips and fried clams.

Howard Johnson has committed $40 million to the mid-century redesign. It'll be worth every penny.

Bill Geist

Bill GeistBill Geist

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