TO count the number of first-class hotels built in metropolitan U.S. since the war, all a statistician needs are the fingers of both hands. But to total the number of new motels that have sprouted up around big cities and along U.S. highways, the experts need an adding machine. What was once a sorry second choice for prewar travelers has skyrocketed into one of the biggest and fastest-growing of U.S. businesses. By last week, as winterbound families started planning their annual vacation motorcade, some 53,000 motels, doing a $1.5 billion annual business, dotted the roads from Maine to California. Of the...

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