[photopress:howard_johnson_plaza_1.jpg,full,alignright]Howard Johnson Plaza Lingang Shanghai has officially opened, becoming the twelfth HoJo hotel in China. This hotel has 182 rooms and suites and 59 service apartments.
Wilburt Chang, Chairman and CEO of Howard Johnson International (China), said, ‘Howard Johnson Plaza Lingang is the first and foremost international hotel in Lingang New City.’
Followed by the opening of Lingang property in Shanghai, Howard Johnson International will have Howard Johnson Plaza Ningbo opening in September and Howard Johnson Hotel Songjiang, Shanghai opening in October this year.
So was there really a Howard Johnson?
Most certainly. Howard Johnson (1897-1972) finished elementary school and then went to work in his father’s cigar business. He served during World War I in the American Expeditionary Force.
In 1925, he bought a small soda shop, the Walker-Barlow drugstore in Quincy, Massachusetts. The store sold three flavors of ice cream: chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla. He improved the ice-cream, increased the sales. In 1929 he started opening restaurants and in 1935, Howard Johnson went into franchising.
By 1954, the chain had 400 restaurants and started with motels. Johnson’s son, Howard B. Johnson, took over the company in 1959. The size of the restaurant chain topped over 1,000 by the late 1970s, with about 500 motor lodges. After that there were numerous splits and diversifications and Howard Johnson would never recognize the hotels of today.
So, yes, there was a Howard Johnson. And his reputation is that he was as mean as sin and his principle hobby was cutting costs. That was then. Now Howard Johnson International is known for running hotels on the basis of guest comfort and convenience.
Source: China Hospitality News