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The long-lost classic Holiday Inn sign

06:17 PM ET (US)
I've read Kemmon Wilson's book, "Half Luck and Half Brains" and found out that Holiday Inn ditched its famous sign because it was becoming too expensive to build and maintain, and that they don't need a giant flashing sign to attract customers anymore since most of them have already made reservations.

But since nostalgia is catching on, how about bringing them back? With new LED technology, it should be much cheaper now to operate the signs since the bulbs would last a lot longer.

Kemmons publicly critized Holiday Inn's management after he retired because he felt it was the "signature" of Holiday Inn. Now since it would be a lot cheaper to maintain, it is a good time to bring them back! Holiday Inn ads now have a picture of the old sign, so why not put them up?
CrawDaddyPerson was signed in when posted
02:58 PM ET (US)
OK, I know this forum ended a long time ago, but I've got something to add. Yeah, I guess nobody will read it but oh well.

The classic Holiday Inn "great sign" was considered garish ,gaudy and old fashioned to many. But look at the motel signs of today and one word comes to mind - BORING. I remember in 1982 when I found out that the HI great sign was going to be replaced with the current B-O-R-I-N-G sign that in my opinion LOOKS AWFUL and does NOTHING to distinguish the name from competitors. Frankly, I was pi*&$d off that a favorite vacation icon of mine was being eliminated. But big business cares nothing about nostalgia so suppose the accountants and executives knew what they were doing, eh? I would bet a fortune that if HI brought back the great sign to SELECTED locations (not all of them!) it would attract new and loyal customers!!! But dream on, this will never happen.
Stefan JonesPerson was signed in when posted
06:17 PM ET (US)
Lilek's motel & diner postcard site has some great hotel signs. Some appear to be knock-offs of the Holiday Inn sign. Others are delightfully lame or delightfully goofy.

In a limited sense, it's a GOOD THING that these were knocked down. OLD googie signs just look awful, all streaked with rust and the plastic gone yellow and dingy. Objects of disregard and contempt.

But absence makes the heart grow fonder, And as long as there are photographs, they can come back! No reason someone with the do-re-mi can't have one built.
JIMWIChPerson was signed in when posted
05:59 PM ET (US)
I've always loved all the Googie and Jet Age signs, of which the Holiday Inn signs were probably the most famous. I photographed this Jetsonian beauty back in 1982, shortly before it was torn down.
Stefan JonesPerson was signed in when posted
05:47 PM ET (US)
There might BE a Holiday Inn in Cambodia.

When I was a travelling sales trainer, I used to entertain myself nights flipping through the Holiday Inn location guide. There was a HI in Lhasa, Tibet.

I once thought that it would be cool to send someone there to steal a coffee shop menu.
Chris BarrusPerson was signed in when posted
04:17 PM ET (US)
I still miss my old Dead Kennedys t-shirt that riffed on the Holiday Inn sign, turning it into "Holiday Inn Cambodia"
Stefan JonesPerson was signed in when posted
03:40 PM ET (US)
I was amused by the regretful tone of the last page.

Aye, it just isn't like the old days. They could make Signs then, they could! Now we're just left with the clean boring standardized rooms run by people who don't keep mom's corpse up in the old house out back.
MeriadocPerson was signed in when posted
01:22 PM ET (US)
What Fred said; and the article's link to a picture of the replacement sign is broken (what an annoyance, especially in a brand-new article); nevertheless, as a piece of cultural history this is interesting.
Fred CoppersmithPerson was signed in when posted
12:18 PM ET (US)
I get the feeling Salon's really reaching for "Masterpieces" with this one.

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