|Division of Wyndham Worldwide|
|Founder||Cardinal Industries, Inc.|
Number of locations
|United States, Canada|
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.
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