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The Exterior of the Austin South Location Red Roof Plus - Red Roof Inn

A History—and Future—of Steady Growth.

It all began in 1973. Builder, contractor and future Indy-winning race team owner James R. Trueman opened the first Red Roof Inn in Columbus, Ohio (and charged guests just $8.50 a night).

For over 45 years, we’ve kept our focus on building the right relationships and producing results. This means guests and franchisees get our full attention. At each of our 550+ locations, we offer incredible value and prove that economy and quality can exist at the same property.

And now we’ve introduced Red Roof PLUS+®, a brand extension perfectly fit for hotels looking to revive their property at a reasonable cost (and optimal return), The Red Collection™, a new group of midscale, hyper-local hotels inspired by their city’s vibe and culture, and HomeTowne Studios by Red Roof™ to accommodate the fastest growing lodging segment while enjoying all of the benefits of doing business with Red Roof.

Red Roof Milestones

1970s

  • In 1973, the “rooms only” motel chain opens in Columbus, Ohio, by the late James R. Trueman. His goal? Provide a clean, comfortable room at a fair price.
  • February 20, 1973: The first Red Roof opens in Columbus (Grove City), Ohio. The single-room rate was just $8.50.

1980s

  • 1980: A toll-free reservation system provides guests with an 800-number. This is the first step in creating a computerized front desk management system.
  • 1982: The RediCard®, Red Roof’s guest identification card, is introduced, and makes reservations through the toll-free number faster and easier for guests.
  • 1984: Computerized property-management systems connect to the corporate office. This was a first in the economy lodging segment.
  • 1988: The first TV and radio advertising campaign launches. The TV ads featured comedian Martin Mull.

1990s

  • 1992: Red Roof introduces a toll-free number, 1-800-843-9999, using a telecommunications device (TDD) for the hearing-impaired. TDD machines were available at all locations.
  • 1994: The Morgan Stanley Real Estate Fund, L.P. purchases Red Roof from the Trueman family.
  • 1997. Red Roof Inn opens its first franchise property in Branson, Missouri.

2000s

  • “Red,” the bobble-head road warrior, is unveiled as the new spokesperson for Red Roof, voiced by John Goodman on TV and radio.
  • 2001: The RediCard® program is re-launches as RediCard® Preferred Member—a points-based loyalty program that rewards guests with a free night for about every 10 paid nights. A special reservations line, regular member communications, and enhanced express check-in are just a few more new member benefits.
  • The first Internet discount program, Red Hot Deals® is promoted at redroof.com.
  • Red Roof launches its Superior King Room for value-conscious leisure and business travelers. New features enhance the brand’s original King Room by adding a communications package with high-speed Wi-Fi, unlimited local and long-distance calls, and fax service.
  • Red Roof Inn becomes the first economy lodging economy brand to offer an upgraded bedding package, and receives a #1 rating in bedding comfort by J.D. Power.
  • Red Roof Inn is awarded first place in the economy hotel category by Best Travel News.
  • Corporate offices are relocated to the historic brewery district in Columbus, OH.

2010

  • Red Roof makes keeping in touch while traveling much easier for guests through Free Communication. Available at locations nationwide, guests enjoy free Wi-Fi, local and long distance calls within the continental U.S., and up to 10 fax pages sent within continental U.S.
  • Red Roof Inn is ranked #1 in Reservation Service by J.D. Power.
  • Red Roof earns the highest customer satisfaction score among economy hotels according to the Market Metrix Global Satisfaction Index.
  • For a second year in a row, World Franchising Network and USA Today® name Red Roof one of the “50 Top Franchises for Minorities.”

2013

  • Red Roof unveils its $200 million dollar NextGen® renovation—an investment to upgrade hotels nationwide with sleek, modern redesign elements.
  • Red Roof adds flat screen TVs to all rooms nationwide.
  • Red Roof expands their corporate office in Columbus, OH.
  • Red Roof celebrates 40 years in business as a leader in economy lodging.

2014

  • For the fifth consecutive year, ReviewMetrix™ names Red Roof the #1 Economy Hotel.
  • Red Roof WOWs guests with its newest guest experience, Red Roof PLUS+®.
  • Red Roof opens its 400th property in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

2015

  • Red Roof partners with Nobile Hotéis to open its first international location in Brazil.
  • Red Roof signs a 20-year deal to build or brand up to 40 hotels in Canada with Pacrim Hospitality Services Inc. and Glenn Squires.
  • Red Roof opens a development office, located at 5847 San Felipe Suite 4650, Houston, TX 77057.
  • Red Roof announces a partnership with Paragon Hotels Limited to develop 30 hotels across Thailand.

2016

  • Red Roof hosts the first of its kind Red Roof Forum on Leadership for Women Entrepreneurs, a conference designed to teach, inform, and uplift female entrepreneurs.
  • Red Roof launches our Verified Wi-Fi program. Responding to the needs of guests, Red Roof has designated properties that have been tested and increased their Wi-Fi to high speeds. Guests can stream music and movies, and business travelers can work efficiently while traveling.
  • Red Roof opens its first international property in Vitoria, Brazil. 
  • Red Roof opens its first property in Japan, Red Roof PLUS+ Osaka-Namba.

2017

  • Red Roof launches The Red Collection™, our first soft brand, for travelers who want modern, unique properties in the center of their favorite cities—with the affordability they expect from the Red Roof brand. 
  • Red Roof opens its 500th property in Biloxi, MS and its 50th Red Roof PLUS+ location in Irondale, Alabama.
  • For the eighth straight year, Clarabridge names Red Roof #1 in online guest reviews among competitive Economy Hotels.

2018

  • The St. Clair Hotel™, the first property in The Red Collection™, opens in the heart of downtown Chicago.
  • The Red Collection™ first franchised property, State House Inn, centrally located in Springfield, IL opens.
  • Red Roof launches extended stay brand HomeTowne Studios by Red Roof™.