Far More Than A Bed And A Bath

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After he was elected, President George Washington traveled through our newly-formed country. And along the way, he stayed at a series of inns and taverns. How did they stack up? Well, let’s just say our first president wasn’t much kinder than a modern-day disgruntled Yelp reviewer about his experiences. Washington wrote in his diary that he found, “No rooms or beds which appeared tolerable.”

While places to stay were rudimentary during Washington’s day, hotels eventually came to signify American progress. A.K. Sandoval-Strausz, an associate professor of history at Penn State and the author of “Hotel: An American History,” talks about how entrepreneurs in the early United States invented hotels, the hospitality industry, and how, in turn, hotels influenced American culture and commerce.

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