Spanish for “The Country Place” – La Quinta Motor Inn now (La Quinta Inn & Suites) was founded by two brothers: Sam and Phil Barshop via their existing firm – Barshop Motel Enterprises. The first property was located one block north from the fair grounds on Commerce Street and opened on April 6, 1968. The property had 120 rooms and was designed in the shape of a triangle. It also had inner courtyard with a pool / lounge area. Its close proximity to the convention center (built as part of HemisFair 68′) worked to provide comfortable low cost accommodations first to Fair visitors then to its target market of traveling businessmen after the Fair ended. The original hotel remained in operation till the early 2000’s when it was replaced with a new 14 floor hotel. One unique feature of the new hotel is a wall showcasing the history of the hotel chain beginning with HemisFair ’68 to present just off the main lobby.
Trivia Note: If one looks down from the Tower of the Americas today (located in Hemisfair Park) towards the newer low rise La Quinta Hotel one block north you can see how the hotel’s parking lot is in the shape of a triangle. This triangle was the site of first property where the parking lot followed the triangle shape of the hotel itself.
A second location just off the San Antonio International Airport opened on April 7, 1968 (day after the opening day of HemisFair 68′) to also accommodate visitors to HemisFair, as well as, the city’s new tourism industry after the Fair.
In the decades after HemisFair 68′, La Quinta Motor Inn would grow into one of the largest U.S. based hotel chains in the U.S. According to the company’s web site La Quinta Inns & Suites now has 880 properties throughout the Americas (North, Central and South) thru a blend of direct own an franchising.
Below are scans of a postcard from the hotel.