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Hospitality's Big Brands Put a Modern Twist on Historic Properties

This story appears in the July 2012 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Among the lasting cultural innovations this country has created, the chain hotel ranks up there with the personal computer and the hot dog.

When U.S. businessmen took to the road en masse after World War II, deciding where to sleep was a perilous undertaking. As the sun set, they'd pull off the highway and into the lot of an anonymous motel. It may have been clean or squalid, secure or unsafe. With no recognizable name, let alone a TripAdvisor rating, who could say?

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