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Rock City Revival

June 2024
1min read

A Hotel Chain is Helping America Restore its Roadside Landmarks

A few years ago the Hampton Inn chain of roadside hotels sponsored a survey that revealed that people vacationing by car are intrigued by the historical oddities they find along the highways. This led to the company’s Save-a-Landmark program, which seeks out places that need, according to a company press release, “minor repairs, a good coat of paint, or even a detailed cleaning.” Having noticed our article “See Rock City” in the April 2000 issue, the folks at Hampton Inn thought we’d like to know about the project’s second beneficiary. They sent us this picture, showing hotel employees and residents of Sevierville, Tennessee, sprucing up the 1940s Willie Chancy Barn, a local treasure on Route 411. With its multiplicity of highways, this country offers hundreds of thousands of such challenges, and Hampton Inn has taken on many, including the Rain of Arrows in Mancos, Colorado, which dates from 1959; the 20-foot-tall Big Duck, a 1931 Long Island landmark (once a restaurant, now a gift shop) in Flanders, New York, which received a newly painted coat and beak; and a 70-year-old Standard Oil gas station on the former Route 66 in Odell, Illinois. Hampton Inn wants to hear from residents and travelers across the country about future candidates. Contact them by mail at Explore the Highway with Hampton, c/o DCW, 8730 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90069 or via their Web site at www.hamptoninn.com .

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