|division of Wyndham Worldwide|
|Founder||Cardinal Industries, Inc.|
|Headquarters||United States of America, Canada|
Number of locations
Knights Inn (officially Knights Franchise Systems, Inc.) is a hotel chain owned by Wyndham Worldwide and based in Parsippany, New Jersey. Each Knights Inn originally had one-story units with all-exterior corridors and medieval-inspired architecture, but the chain no longer applies those features to new properties.
Knights Inn started in Columbus, Ohio when its first location opened in 1974. The Columbus-based Cardinal Industries, Inc., former manufacturer of prefabricated buildings such as apartments and motels, developed the chain. The chain utilized extensive landscaping and Tudor architecture, and all properties featured only one story. The buildings were also prefabricated, and were shipped on trucks to their sites.
Knights Inn introduced Arborgate Inn, a "no-frills" brand featuring fewer amenities and more modern architecture, along with a higher-end variant called Knights Stop. Knights Inn filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 1989, one year after the introduction of Arborgate Inn.
Hospitality Management Systems (HMS) acquired the Knights Inn franchise and management contract rights from Cardinal Industries in 1991. At this point, many properties had begun re-branding to other companies, most notably Motel 6, Travelodge, and Days Inn; conversely, HMS began acquiring buildings from other chains and re-branding them to Knights Inn, thus abandoning the chain's architecture standards. HMS successfully sued the owners of properties re-branded from Knights Inn and forced them to alter the appearances of their buildings.
Cendant purchased Knights Inn in 1995. At this same time, the sister brands were discontinued. In 2004, Cendant merged the Villager Inn brand, which it had previously acquired, into the Knights Inn division.
- Nelton, Sharon. "Home, sweet modular home - manufacturer Austin Guirlinger." Nation's Business. April 1988.
- Jakle, John A.; Sculle, Keith A.; Rogers, Jefferson S. (1996). The Motel in America. Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 208–210. ISBN 0-8018-5383-4.
- Snyder, Jack (28 March 1988). "The first Arborgate Inn in Florida is...". The Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 19 August 2013.
- "Cendant Corp.'s hotel group is merging its Villager and Knights Inn systems, unifying both chains under the Knights Inn brand". Find Articles.com. 19 July 2004. Retrieved 11 May 2011.