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Marketing cooperative
Industry Motels
Founded 1939; 79 years ago (1939) (as TraveLodge)
Headquarters El Cajon, California, U.S.
Number of locations
4,195 (Worldwide)
Area served
Key people

Scott King

Revenue US$6,000,000,000 (2012)
Number of employees
1,254 (2012)
Website Travelodge United States

Travelodge (formerly TraveLodge) refers to several hotel chains around the world. Current operations include: the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Spain, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia and Asia. However, many of these are operated by independent companies who have no connection with the brand in other countries.

United States[edit]

The Travelodge brand was one of the first motel chains in the United States. It was established by the original Travelodge Corporation's founder, Scott King, in 1939 with the opening of the chain's first motels in Southern California. The first TraveLodge opened in San Diego in 1940. For many years, Travelodge was headquartered in El Cajon, California, east of San Diego. During its early years, TraveLodge emphasized itself as a budget motel chain that offered functional accommodations at rates lower than other chains by shunning fancy frills in favor of functional amenities such as comfortable beds, free TV and room phones, carpeted floors, in-room coffee pots and swimming pools. TraveLodge also emphasized that its motels were centrally located in or near downtown areas in order to be convenient to local restaurants, churches, theatres, shopping areas and tourist attractions. Today, however, there are many different hotel "tiers" that Travelodge offers, from budget-priced properties to full-service high-rise hotels. Travelodge purchased the Skylight Inn of America Inn in 1987, which was founded only five years prior in Cleveland, Ohio,[1] and Lodge Keeper Group, which operated LK and Country Hearth, in 1990.[2]

In 1996, the Forte Group sold the Travelodge operation in North America. The trademark rights and franchise system were acquired for $39 million by HFS Inc., the owner of other hotel brands such as Days Inn and Ramada.[3][4] HFS was later merged into Cendant Corporation,[5] and Cendant's hotel services, including Travelodge, were spun off as Wyndham Worldwide in 2006.[6]

Targeting families with children, Travelodge is best known for its mascot Sleepy Bear, a half awake teddy bear wearing a sleeping cap with his name, a robe with the Travelodge logo, and slippers. Some time ago, Travelodge would give a free toy plush bear to any child staying in the Sleepy Bear Den room, of which every Travelodge used to have at least one. Travelodge also has a brand of lower-price motels called Thriftlodge with another mascot named TJ, a freckle-faced bear with a baseball cap and a T-shirt with the Thriftlodge logo and the name TJ on it.[7]

Skylight Inns, founded in Cleveland, Ohio in 1982,[8] was bought out by Travelodge in 1989.[9]

Sleepy Bear Den[edit]

Travelodge Sleepy Bear Den Room
Travelodge Sleepy Bear lamp shades

The Sleepy Bear Den is a room decorated in Sleepy Bear material. Each room has lampshades, comforters, curtains, and posters themed after Sleepy Bear. Travelodge used to give out free toy plush "sleepy bears" to any guest staying in the Sleepy Bear Den. Extras included a VCR for which children's films could be rented in the lobby. Several Travelodge properties are doing away with the Sleepy Bear den, citing high costs in maintaining a single type of room that is not consistent with the others. Remaining Sleepy Bear Dens are disappearing during renovations, and are being converted to standard rooms.

Popular culture references[edit]

Travelodge was referenced and its logo shown in the 1993 film Dennis the Menace.

Singer-songwriter David Rovics dedicated a song, titled 'Travelodge', to the chain.


A Travelodge in Calgary, Alberta

The Canadian Travelodge hotels are unusual for a Wyndham chain. Though operating under the Travelodge brand, Travelodge Canada administers the Master License for Travelodge and Thriftlodge in Canada. Travelodge Canada Corp. is owned by Superior Lodging Development TL Corporation based in Calgary, Alberta.

With over 95 properties nationwide, Travelodge is the third largest hotel chain in Canada.

United Kingdom[edit]

Travelodge has been running in the UK since the first hotel opened at Burton Upon Trent in 1985. The company has been through several changes of ownership, and reached £1b in debts by 2008. The chain is currently being financed by Goldman Sachs and the hedge fund groups GoldenTree Asset Management and Avenue Capital Group.[10]

In December 2017 Travelodge was accused of charging customers up to 68p per minute to call helpline whilst hiding its free phone helpline number which it has to provide under (Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013). It advertises a premium rate 0871 number for customers on its Facebook and website. [11]


Headquartered in Singapore, Travelodge Hotels Asia is responsible for the development, management and franchise of all Travelodge hotels in 22 key markets throughout Asia. The launch of Travelodge Kowloon in Hong Kong in January 2017 marks a first strategic step and key milestone for Travelodge Hotels Asia. The company, owned by Singapore-listed ICP, has plans for expansion in other Asian countries including Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Japan within the next few years.[12]


  1. ^ "Three Cleveland area firms have begun a joint venture". UPI. September 2, 1982. Retrieved 12 September 2015. 
  2. ^ Jakle, John A.; Sculle, Keith A.; Rogers, Jefferson S. (1996). The Motel in America. Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 156–160. ISBN 0-8018-5383-4. 
  3. ^ Lynne Carrier (December 21, 1995). "East Coast consortium purchases Travelodge U.S. for $167 million". San Diego Daily Transcript.   – via Factiva (subscription required)
  4. ^ "Natl Lodging, HFS buy Forte's North Amer Travelodge opers". Dow Jones News Service. January 23, 1996.   – via Factiva (subscription required)
  5. ^ "Merged HFS, CUC begin trading under new name". Wall Street Journal. December 19, 1997.   – via Factiva (subscription required)
  6. ^ Joseph R. Perone (August 1, 2006). "Cendant's split into 4 firms effective today". The Star-Ledger. Newark, NJ.   – via NewsBank (subscription required)
  7. ^ Travelodge
  8. ^,742106&dq=skylight-inns&hl=en
  9. ^,1096071&dq=envoy-inns&hl=en
  10. ^ "Travelodge has 'complete makeover' as it focuses on families and business". Daily Telegraph. 15 February 2015. Retrieved 30 March 2015. 
  11. ^
  12. ^ migration (2014-06-24). "ICP acquires Asia Pacific rights to Travelodge brand". The Straits Times. Retrieved 2017-06-19. 

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