Who owns Best Western? Best Western is a privately held company owned by a network of independent hotel owners and operators. It operates as a membership-based system, where each hotel owner maintains their own franchise while being a part of the larger company. The Best Western Hotels & Resorts brand is managed by Best Western International Inc., which oversees the global operations, standards, and marketing for the hotels in the chain.
Best Western International, Inc. is a global hotel chain founded in 1946 by M.K. Guertin, an American hotelier. It started as an informal referral system among hotels situated in California and later expanded across the United States. The idea behind Best Western was to create a brand that connected the best independent hotels and motels under one umbrella.
These hotels had similar standards of quality and service, and the name “Best Western” was derived from the fact that most of their properties were located in the western half of the United States. Ownership of individual Best Western hotels is decentralized, meaning that they are independently owned and operated.
The overarching brand, Best Western International, Inc., functions as a membership-driven organization. Hotel owners choose to become members of the Best Western network, and in exchange for their membership fees, they receive benefits such as global reservations, marketing services, and access to the brand’s resources. In 1964, Best Western expanded into Canada, and in the years since, it has grown into one of the most recognizable hotel brands with over 4,700 properties in over 100 countries.
In the 1990s and 2000s, several new brands were introduced under the Best Western umbrella, such as Best Western Plus, Best Western Premier, and Best Western Signature Collection, to cater to different market segments. In 2015, the company underwent a rebranding effort and introduced a new organizational structure. Best Western International, Inc. was rebranded as Best Western Hotels & Resorts, which operates as the master brand for its various sub-brands. In summary, Best Western is a global hotel brand with properties under diverse ownership.
Individual hotels are owned and operated by their respective owners, who are members of the overarching organization known as Best Western Hotels & Resorts. The company has gone through various changes and adaptations throughout its history but has remained a membership-driven organization connecting independently owned hotels.
Who was the original founder?
Best Western was originally founded by M.K. Guertin in 1946. Merill Klement Guertin was an American hotelier with over 20 years of experience in the lodging industry when he started the company.
Before founding Best Western, Guertin operated a small chain of motor hotels (motels) in California. Seeing an opportunity to improve the hotel industry, Guertin started Best Western as a referral system linking a network of independently owned and operated motels in California. His vision was to create a brand that ensured quality, value, and standardized services while allowing each property owner to maintain their independence.
His marketing approach was unique at that time, where he named his company after different tiers of service, Best Western for the top tier, Western for the second tier, and Economy Western for the budget accommodations. Under Guertin’s leadership and vision, Best Western continued to grow and expand not only within the United States but internationally as well. The company started to operate on a membership basis, with each owner paying fees to be part of the referral system and sharing the brand name.
Today, Best Western has become one of the largest hotel chains globally, with over 4,000 properties in more than 100 countries. The company is no longer structured as a membership organization but is now a privately held corporation, with each hotel independently owned and operated under a franchise agreement.
FAQ: Who Owns Best Western
1. What is Best Western?
Best Western is an international hotel chain operating under multiple brands, including Best Western, Best Western Plus, and Best Western Premier. The company offers quality accommodations and various services to travelers all around the world.
2. Who owns Best Western?
Best Western is owned by the Best Western International, Inc., which is a privately held company. The company operates as a membership association, meaning it comprises independently owned and operated hotels that are affiliated to the brand and follow its standards.
3. How many Best Western hotels are there?
As of 2021, there are more than 4,700 Best Western hotels across 100 countries worldwide.
4. What benefits do Best Western members receive?
Members of the Best Western loyalty program, Best Western Rewards, can earn points for each stay at a Best Western property. These points can be redeemed for free stays, gift cards, or other rewards. Additionally, members can enjoy exclusive deals, promotions, and perks such as early check-in or late check-out options.
5. Can I book a room directly through Best Western?
Yes, you can book a room directly through Best Western’s website, mobile app, or their customer service number. Booking directly through Best Western guarantees the best available rates, flexible booking options, and exclusive offers for members.
Sources for More Information
- Best Western Official Website
- Forbes Article on Hotel Industry
- Hotel Management Article on Best Western Ownership
- Bloomberg Businessweek Profile on Best Western International