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Econo Lodge

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Econo Lodge
Company typeEconomy motel
Founded1969; 55 years ago (1969) (as Econo-Travel)
Norfolk, Virginia, U.S.
  • Vernon Myers Sr.
  • Vernon Myers Jr.
  • Lloyd Tarbutton
Number of locations
779 (as of June 30, 2020)
ParentChoice Hotels

Econo Lodge is an budget motel chain based in the United States and Canada and one of the larger subsidiaries of Choice Hotels.[1] The properties contain a minimum of 40 guest rooms and are often located near highways or highway access. All hotels provide a free breakfast. As of December 31, 2022, there are 759 Econo Lodge hotels open with 44,697 rooms.[2][3] There are Econo Lodge motels in every US state and Canadian province.


Econo Lodge in Fort Lauderdale

The company began in Norfolk, Virginia by developer Vernon Myers and his son, Vernon Jr. in 1969 as Econo-Travel and they were joined by Lloyd Tarbutton, a local businessman. Tarbutton took on the project, finding investors and money, as well as doing extensive market research, to see if the concept would work. The chain's mascot in the early days was "Sandy", a girl in a short Scotch skirt and tam. The first hotel, still operating at 865 North Military Highway in Norfolk, was built for $275,000. Its daily rate for rooms was $7 single, $9 double, and $11 for four.

Tarbutton sold the chain, which had 306 locations, in 1983 for $836 million. He had begun to change the name on all locations to Econo Lodge in the latter 1970s. The brand went through ups and downs and a number of owners after the founders sold out. It was eventually acquired by a fund advised by investor Paul Wallace, who refurbished it, mended relations with franchisees, and then sold it to what is now Choice Hotels International in 1990. It is the more upscale of the group's economy brands; its sister brand, Rodeway Inn, usually has fewer amenities.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Trejos, Nancy (July 5, 2018). "The brands and rooms of Choice Hotels, by the numbers". USA TODAY. Retrieved December 3, 2022.
  2. ^ "Inline XBRL Viewer". www.sec.gov. Retrieved May 9, 2023.
  3. ^ "Hotel Franchise Opportunity, Development, Motel Franchises For Sale - Choice Hotels International - Accommodations, Inns, Lodgings, Suites". choicehotelsfranchise.com.

External links[edit]

Media related to Econo Lodge at Wikimedia Commons