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Best Western International® Timeline and Story



Best Western Hotels & Resorts leads the industry with its response to the COVID-19 crisis by launching several initiatives to protect its guests and its hoteliers. A few of these initiatives include the brand’s industry-leading We Care Clean program; a support package for front line workers; elite status protection for BWR members; and unprecedented measures that afforded its hotel owners (members) much-needed financial relief during a time of immense challenge.



Best Western announces the acquisition of renowned global hotel brand WorldHotels® representing a collection of approximately 300 unique and special hotels and resorts in premier destinations around the world. The acquisition enhances Best Western’s portfolio of offerings to include the upper upscale and luxury segments. Best Western also expanded its SureStay Hotel Group® offerings by launching SureStay StudioSM, a premium-economy extended stay option.



Best Western introduced the year-long Today’s Best Western campaign, giving travelers a look “Behind the Brands,” diving into each of its hotel offerings. The brand also celebrated BWR’s 30th anniversary, launched two new brands - Sadie® and Aiden®, and opened the first ever Vib® and GLo® hotels in the U.S.



Best Western adds company's eleventh brand, BW Signature Collection® by Best Western.



Best Western celebrates its 70th anniversary and introduces SureStay Hotel Group®.



Best Western announces new master brand logo. The new Best Western Hotels & Resorts masterbrand logo pulls through the company’s current blue color, updated with a modern hue and uses the distinctive hand drawn lettering which was created to be contemporary, friendly and memorable. This logo will clearly define that Best Western is a company of hotels and resorts across the globe with brands that meet the needs of today's travelers.

Best Western announces new design for the Best Western hotel brand logo which utilizes the hand drawn lettering, which is familiar and personable and pulls through the company's updated blue color. The centerpiece globe comes to life through the use of special effects such as gradient, highlighting and a 3-D treatment. These effects will be distinctive within the hotel industry which traditionally uses two-dimensional logos.

Best Western announces new design for the Best Western Plus® logo which picks up on the brand's traditional use of red, incorporates the signature lettering and draws more emphasis to the word "Plus" using a contemporary tapered line. The diamond shape, inspired by the shape of a mobile app, distinguishes it from the Best Western hotel brand logo by giving it a more premium look within the upper midscale segment.

Best Western announces new design for the Best Western Premier® logo using a classic yet contemporary font along with unique design elements to exude elegance and style. The BWP monogram brings an iconic expression with its multi-dimensional elliptical shape. The Premier word mark uses customized lettering and is accentuated with a tapered line and ties it to the Best Western masterbrand.

Best Western announces GLō®, a broad-midscale boutique concept designed for secondary, suburban and highway markets. GLō is a broad-midscale new construction brand that offers a hip, boutique-style experience for savvy travelers who expect the best in value, design and comfort.



Best Western announces Vīb®, an urban boutique concept focused on style, technology and engagement, and BW Premier Collection®, a soft brand of carefully selected, high-quality hotels in global primary markets.



Best Western introduces advanced cleaning technologies at its North American properties, becoming the first hotel brand to empower housekeeping staff to set a new standard for guest care through the use of UV wands, black lights and clean remotes.



Best Western celebrates its 65th birthday introducing Best Western®, Best Western Plus® and Best Western Premier® descriptors to the North American market. The World's Biggest Hotel Family tagline is introduced in the United States and Canada.



Best Western passes ballot approving three descriptors - Best Western®, Best Western Plus® and Best Western Premier®.




Best Western launches new Atrea prototype.

The Gold Crown Club® International Program celebrates its 20th anniversary and is renamed Best Western Rewards®.



Best Western begins using online surveys to keep track of customer satisfaction, one of the first steps in leading the industry in superior customer care.

The hotel chain is named a Preferred Lodging Partner of AAA®/CAA®, and begins a multi-year partnership with Harley-Davidson®.



Best Western celebrates its 60th anniversary with the 1946 Room Rate Promotion, where lucky guests are provided with a special one-night charge of $5.40 - the approximate value of overnight accommodations six decades ago, when the company got its start.



Best Western begins averaging $1 million in bookings per day through bestwestern.com.



Best Western launches the hotel industry's largest High-Speed Internet Access (HSIA) initiative with the fastest implementation. In just eight months, the company establishes free wireless or hard-wired HSIA in some portion of the public areas, and at least 15 percent of rooms, at all of its North American properties.

Best Western becomes the first-ever Official Hotel of NASCAR®.



Best Western introduces the Best Western Premier descriptor in Europe and Asia.



Best Western China launches, beginning a decade of intense development in that country.



Best Western Asia head office opens in Bangkok, Thailand, covering most of the continent and the Middle East.



Best Western introduces its first listings on the Internet. Full information on 150 member properties, including photographs, becomes instantly available via personal home computer.

Best Western opens its first property in Israel, establishing its presence in the Middle East.

Best Western expands into Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa.



Best Western establishes its presence in India.



A brand identity study recommends the adoption of a new Best Western logo and identity. On November 30, the members approve the adoption of a new logo and officially retire the Gold Crown logo.

Best Westerns open in Japan, Venezuela, Russia and Lithuania.



Best Western expands into South America with its first property in Brazil. Development also begins in Türkiye.



Best Western welcomes Greece into the family.



The Gold Crown Club International Program for frequent travelers launches. Within a year, it acquires more than 200,000 members and sales of more than $40 million..



Best Western welcomes Norway into the family.



Best Western welcomes Portugal into the family.



Best Western welcomes Spain into the family.



Best Western welcomes Belgium, Finland and the Netherlands into the family.



Best Western welcomes Denmark and Italy into the family.



In August, a satellite reservations center is established inside the Arizona Center for Women (ACW), a minimum-security correctional facility in Phoenix. This innovative venture, employing inmates as reservations sales agents, answers the chain's business need for a flexible workforce. The program brings numerous awards and worldwide attention to Best Western.

Best Western welcomes Austria, France, Sweden, Switzerland and Germany into the family.



Best Western membership rises to 2,654 hoteliers worldwide.



Best Western accommodates 15 million guests and generates $1 billion in room sales.



Best Western welcomes Great Britain and Ireland into the family.



To meet the demands of rapid growth, a multi-million dollar Best Western International Headquarters complex is designed and built in northeast Phoenix.

The phrase "World's Largest Lodging Chain®" becomes a part of Best Western's corporate identification and advertising theme. The tagline later changes to "The World's Largest Hotel Chain".



Best Western Mexico launches, bringing more than 100 properties in Mexico and Central America into the fold.



Best Western begins to expand overseas, entering Australia and New Zealand.



Best Western decides to drop its referral organization image, eliminates the word "motel" from its name and begins directly competing directly with other full-service lodging chains.



Properties are required to accept six major credit cards. Reservations that are charged are considered "guaranteed" and rooms have to be held for the entire night. Properties have the right to bill for "no-show" clients.

1946 - 1966


The entire membership, Best Western and Best Eastern, unites under the Best Western name. A seven-person Board of Directors is elected by regional members to provide leadership and make policy decisions. Guertin retires.

The organization moves it's headquarters from Long Beach, CA, to Phoenix, AZ. The Board decides to relocate because of savings involved in centralizing operations and the potential for further expanding membership services.

A major expansion of Best Western services is announced. Changes include establishing a new reservations center offering toll-free service for business commuters, travel agents and vacationers through arrangements with American Express; increasing membership standards; opening sales offices in Washington D.C., Montreal, Phoenix and Seattle; establishing tie-ins with airlines and representatives from other transportation industry organizations and investigating stronger infiltration of tour and business meeting markets.



The group of motels east of the Mississippi River is incorporated as Best Eastern Inc.



Best Western is the largest motel chain in the industry with 699 member properties and 35,201 rooms.



Best Western has the only hospitality reservations service covering the entire United States.

Best Western begins using the crown logo with a rope border to identify member properties.



In a guest editorial published in American Motel Magazine, Guertin speaks of the importance of advertising properties to the general traveling public. This is considered a very revolutionary approach in the lodging industry.



Best Western Motels is founded by M.K. Guertin, a hotelier with 23 years of experience in the business. The chain begins as an informal link between properties with each hotel recommending other lodging establishments to travelers. The "referral system" consists of phone calls from one desk operator to another.