Great American Hoteliers
Pioneers of the Hotel Industry
About the Book
During the thirty years prior to the Civil War, Americans built hotels larger and more ostentatious than any in the rest of the world. These hotels were inextricably intertwined with American culture and customs but were accessible to average citizens. As Jefferson Williamson wrote in "The American Hotel" ( Knopf 1930), hotels were perhaps "the most distinctively American of all our institutions for they were nourished and brought to flower solely in American soil and borrowed practically nothing from abroad". Development of hotels was stimulated by the confluence of travel, tourism and transportation. In 1869, the transcontinental railroad engendered hotels by Henry Flagler, Fred Harvey, George Pullman and Henry Plant. The Lincoln Highway and the Interstate Highway System triggered hotel development by Carl Fisher, Ellsworth Statler, Kemmons Wilson and Howard Johnson. The airplane stimulated Juan Trippe, John Bowman, Conrad Hilton, Ernest Henderson, A.M. Sonnabend and John Hammons.. My research into the lives of these great hoteliers reveals that none of them grew up in the hospitality business but became successful through their intense on-the- job experiences. My investigation has uncovered remarkable and startling true stories about these pioneers, some of whom are well-known and others who are lost in the dustbin of history.
About the Author
Stanley Turkel is a recognized authority and consultant in the hotel industry. He specializes in asset management, hotel franchising and litigation support services. Prior to forming his consulting firm, Turkel was the Product Line Manager for Hotel and Motel Operations at the International Telephone & Telegraph Corp. overseeing the Sheraton Corporation of America. Earlier, he was the General Manager of the Summit Hotel and the Drake Hotel and Resident Manager of the Americana of New York. Turkel serves on the Board of Advisors and lectures at the NYU Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management. Turkel is one of the most widely-published authors in the hospitality field. He brings many talents and accomplishments including his broad-based experience, his informed knowledge, his frequent appearances as guest speaker and his sterling reputation for integrity and honesty.