Holiday Inn was founded in 1952 in Memphis, Tennessee, by Kemmons Wilson, after a trip to Washington, D.C., resulted in numerous disappointments regarding hotels he encountered on the road. Wilson became partners with friend Wallace Johnson and the pair decided to build hotels all around the Memphis area. The original corporate office was in a converted shed behind Johnson’s home.
The company grew to become one of the largest and most recognized names in American hotels. Today, a subsidiary of Intercontinental Hotels Group, the company has more than 2.650 hotels across the US. Most locations are owned by franchises and are known under numerous, but similar, names, such as Holiday Inn Hotels and Suites, Holiday Inn SunSpree Resorts, and Holiday Inn Express.
The company announced in 2008 that they would launch a timeshare program called Holiday Inn Club Vacations.
Due to the coronavirus crisis of 2020, many hotels are being forced to close or be sold, especially in the San Antonio, Texas area.
Headquarters for the US hotels are found in Atlanta, Georgia.