Hotels: The Colonial Innkeepers

Most motel chains depend on an easily recognizable similarity to attract customers: Holiday Inns, for example, all have bright green neon signs, and Howard Johnson motor lodges feature the familiar orange roof. One chain has made a virtue of being different, though, and hardly has two establishments that are alike. It is Treadway Inns Corp., whose 28 hostels include such disparate stopovers as Nantucket's 120-year-old Jared Coffin House, once a whaler's mansion, a modern downtown motel in the Treadway headquarters town of Rochester, N.Y., and an Alpine chalet in Franconia, N.H.,...

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