In Case Studies, Design and Inspiration

Holiday Inn Saratoga Springs’ 50th Anniversary

The Allegory team recently helped Cindy Hollowood, general manager of the Holiday Inn Saratoga Springs, kick off the celebration of her hotel’s 50th anniversary. This once-in-a-lifetime project paired powerful storytelling with expert design. The end result was an anniversary logo, theme, and 70-foot museum timeline on permanent display at the hotel for all guests, visitors, and long-time friends to enjoy!

It began with a dream…

Since her first day working there over 30 years ago, Cindy Hollowood knew that this hotel was special. It wasn’t just a community landmark – it belonged to the community itself.

While Saratoga Springs, New York, is a bustling tourist destination today, it wasn’t always this way. Much of its success can be attributed to a single project back in 1961 – the decision to build a new convention-style hotel. Armed with courage and the conviction that ‘What Saratoga Springs Builds, Builds Saratoga Springs,’ 300 local citizens traveled door-to-door to sell shares in a New Convention Hotel Corporation to almost 1,500 local community members. The money they raised helped build the hotel that’s celebrating its 50th anniversary today.

Flash forward to 2014 as Cindy and her team brainstorm how to make this anniversary special. They came across archived photos, magazines, newspaper ads, letters and more – evidence of how a community came together to create change. With just one peek at all they found, Cindy knew that this anniversary needed to be about people, people with stories – a timeline for the ages. Cindy trusted that Allegory, an expert storytelling firm, would be a perfect fit and together we researched, planned, and celebrated all those that helped the hotel become what it is today!

And became a reality.

Theme and logo

Theresa Agresta and Julia Ingersoll learned the hotel’s history, what it is today, and what its goals are for the future. Out of the research came an obvious theme: investing. The hotel began as an investment opportunity and its staff are still completely invested in the success of their community and the experience of their guests. The theme linking together all of the anniversary events became: Innvested. Heart of our city. Home for our community. Holiday Inn. 

Jeremy Chapline, inspired by the aesthetics of the year the hotel was founded and the history of Holiday Inn logos, designed the 50th anniversary mark.

History retold

50 years. 1,200 names. 70 feet. 34 panels. Dozens of photos, stories, quotes, and more! As Julia fielded research, archives, and phone calls from community members, Jeremy handled each curve ball for this large-scale project with creative flexibility. The end result wow’d guests at the unveiling ceremony and continues to impress each new viewer.

Fun facts from the timeline

  • Everyone from waitresses and bartenders to teachers and bankers gave to the project, viewing it as a gift to the city.
  • This hotel was Holiday Inn’s first hotel. It had previously only built motels.
  • It was also the first Holiday Inn with elevators.
  • This hotel had the largest meeting space of any Holiday Inn. It was built to accommodate 1,000 guests.
  • Rooms in the 1960s ranged from $9-11 during regular season.
  • In 1981, the hotel was sold to a private management company. With the sale, original stockholders received $436 for every $50 share – some even became rich!
  • The crews for the movies Ghost Story, Seabiscuit, The Horse Whisperer, and Billy Bathgate used the hotel for casting calls and film editing.
  • The hotel has hosted a number of celebrities in 50 years. Some of the names include: Lynrd Skynrd Band, Liberace, The Allman Brothers, B.B. King, The Doobie Brothers, General MacArthur, Robert Reford and more.

The Allegory team is honored by the opportunity it had to capture such a special time. This anniversary leaves the Holiday Inn poised and prepared to honor its founders, celebrate its accomplishment, and plan for the next 50 years!

Recommended Posts