The story of our country’s best roadside motel chain started with a legend. A man, herding sheep in rural 1890s Wyoming, found himself caught in a January blizzard unable to make his way back home. The wind howled and the snow fell in sheets as he shivered and struggled to find a place to dig in for the night.
These were the days before I-80 tore its way across the southern part of the state, with no cars whizzing in the distance to serve as a wayfinder and no sheriff on patrol in the area in whom he might have found a savior. The man spent the night in the freezing January storm dreaming of a warm fire and birthing in his mind an idea that would leave an indelible mark on American hospitality.