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Another Corporate Landmark Bites Dust

The orange roofs of Howard Johnson, a familiar sight along America’s roads for decades, will start disappearing as the motel and restaurant chain tries to update its image.

From now on, Howard Johnson Motor Lodges will be called inns, said Eric Pfeffer, who heads Howard Johnson International Inc., a unit of HFS Inc. Multi-story Howard Johnson motels will be called hotels, and higher-end locations will be named “Plaza Hotels.”

Only about 100 of the more than 500 Howard Johnson motor lodges still have orange roofs, which have disappeared as hotel architecture has changed.

The motor lodge moniker is outdated, Pfeffer said, noting that “if you look carefully,” a hint of an orange roof can be seen in a new corporate logo.

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