Rodeway Inn

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A Rodeway Inn in Chicago, Illinois
The Rodeway Inn in Garden City, Kansas

Rodeway Inn is a chain of economy-priced motels in the United States and Canada. Rodeway Inn is a franchise brand of the Choice Hotels group. Because each Rodeway Inn is individually owned and operated by the hotel owner or management company (franchisee), there appears to be no central customer service or accountability in the event that a guest has an unsatisfactory experience at one of their franchised hotels. Rodeway Inn (as well as many other franchised hotels and motels) are also known by the large number of Indian immigrant franchisee owners that bought hotels from the 1960's to today.[1]

There are over 150 locations in North America. The hotels are often located in or near popular tourist destinations. Guest amenities include free local calls, a free weekday newspaper, long distance access, and complimentary morning coffee.


The chain was organized in Phoenix, Arizona in 1962.[2] Michael Robinson had been in the motel business since 1951, when he opened the Flamingo Motor Hotel in McAllen, Texas, and later joined Chicago restaurateur Marion Isbell and other investors in organizing Phoenix-based Ramada Inns in 1954, where he served as managing director until resigning in 1962 to organize Rodeway Inns.

Early Rodeway Inns typically featured colonial-style architecture somewhat similar to Ramada Inns of that era, but on a smaller scale as Rodeway Inn properties often had fewer rooms (less than 100) than Ramada, most of whose hotels were larger properties with 100 or more rooms and more amenities. The hotels of the long-defunct Hiway House chain, also with Phoenix roots, had colonial architecture similar in style to the Rodeway Inns.

Rodeway was acquired by the Vantage Company of Dallas, Texas in 1971. Prudential Life Insurance participated in a joint venture with Rodeway Inns to finance the company-owned inns. The idea of the chain was to offer independent operators the advantages of big-chain identity, much like that of the America's Best Value Inn chain today (also by Vantage). The company originally owned and operated its inns but focused only on franchising after 1976. The brand was purchased by Ladbrokes in 1985 and was sold to Ramada in 1987. Rodeway Inn then became a part of the Choice Hotels group in 1990, along with two other budget hotel brands, Friendship Inn and Econo Lodge. When this happened, the Friendship Inn chain was absorbed into Rodeway and Econo Lodge. (Motel in America 171-172).

In 2007, Rodeway Inn was named the fastest growing chain in the hotel industry by Lodging Magazine,(May 2008 issue). Kevin Bradt, Division President, Economy Market Brands, Choice Hotels instituted a new brand strategy and pricing model that greatly improved franchise sales by a factor of 10 from their previous lows.

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