Rank no.109 – Knights Inn – US

Rank no.109 – Knights Inn – US

Rank no.109 – Knights Inn – US

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Products & Services: Hotels

Number of Locations: 374

Total Investment: $124K – 7.01M

Founded: 1972

Began Franchising: 1991

About Knights Inn

Knights Inn, a hotel chain with more than 230 locations in North America, was founded in 1972. The franchise, which is operated by Cendant Corp., provides limited-service, budget lodging to families, senior citizens, business travelers, truckers and other value-conscious travelers.

Knights Inn looks for franchisees with hotel management or operation experience.

Franchise Units

2013 344 30 0 0
2012 332 21 0 0
2011 327 20 0 0
2010 320 18 0 0
2009 299 18 0 0
Where Seeking Franchisees: Franchisor is seeking new franchise units throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Startup Costs, Ongoing Fees and Financing

Total Investment: $124,000 – $7,018,200
Franchise Fee: $7,000
Ongoing Royalty Fee: Varies
Term of Franchise Agreement: 3 years, renewable
Franchise Fee
Startup Costs
Accounts Receivable

How This Franchise Supports Franchisees

Training: Available at headquarters: 5 days. At franchisee’s location: 2 days. Regional workshops; property training
Ongoing Support: Newsletter, Meetings, Toll-free phone line, Internet, Field operations/evaluations, Purchasing cooperatives
Marketing Support: National media,

Franchise Ranking History

Franchise 500®: #109 (2013), #106 (2012), #107 (2011), #135 (2010), #129 (2009),
Fastest-Growing: #94 (2011), #79 (2010), #82 (2009),
America’s Top Global: #110 (2013), #88 (2012), #90 (2011), #108 (2010), #101 (2009),
Knights Inn
Type division of Wyndham Worldwide
Industry Lodging
Founded Columbus, Ohio,
Founder(s) Cardinal Industries, Inc.
Headquarters United States of America,Canada
Number of locations 200+
Parent Wyndham Worldwide

Knights Inn (officially Knights Franchise Systems, Inc.) is a hotel chain owned by Wyndham Worldwide and based in Parsippany, New Jersey. Each Knights Inn originally had one-story units with all-exterior corridors and medieval-inspired architecture, but the chain no longer applies those features to new properties.


A Knights Inn location

Knights Inn started in Columbus, Ohio when its first location opened in 1974. The Columbus-based Cardinal Industries, Inc., former manufacturer of prefabricated buildings such as apartments and motels, developed the chain.[1] The chain utilized extensive landscaping and Tudor architecture, and all properties featured only one story.[2] The buildings were also prefabricated, and were shipped on trucks to their sites.

Knights Inn introduced Knights Stop and Arborgate Inn, “no-frills” brands featuring fewer amenities and more modern architecture,[3]along with a higher-end variant called Knights Stop.[2] Knights Inn filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 1989, one year after the introduction of Arborgate Inn.[2]

Hospitality Management Systems (HMS) acquired the Knights Inn franchise and management contract rights from Cardinal Industries in 1991. At this point, many properties had begun re-branding to other companies, most notably Motel 6,Travelodge, and Days Inn; conversely, HMS began acquiring buildings from other chains and re-branding them to Knights Inn, thus abandoning the chain’s architecture standards. HMS successfully sued the owners of properties re-branded from Knights Inn and forced them to alter the appearances of their buildings.[2]

Cendant purchased Knights Inn in 1995. At this same time, the sister brands were discontinued. In 2004, Cendant merged the Villager Inn brand, which it had previously acquired, into the Knights Inn division.[4]

Cendant spun off its hotel properties as Wyndham Worldwide in 2006. As of November 2007, there were 225 properties currently open in the United States and Canada.