A Room with No View

The hospitality industry hasn't exactly been a hotbed of innovation. There have been some new ideas over the decades, it is true. In 1952, for example, Kemmons Wilson built the first Holiday Inn and revolutionized American motels by introducing standardization and emphasizing cleanliness and value. The era of the big convention-oriented hotels checked in during the 1970s. And in 1984, New York City nightclub entrepreneur Ian Schrager came up with the boutique hotel concept. But for the most part, the basic business model has changed little: sell travelers perfectly acceptable yet generic places to stay for the night at ever-increasing prices,...

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