How the World’s Largest Hotels have changed – Guest Blog

I have always admired Ellsworth Statler and am pleased to post this as a guest blog.

John J Hogan, CHA CMHS CHE CHO    John@Hoganhospitality.com

The Inside Inn Was the World’s Largest Hotel During the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair—Then It Was Torn Down
By Mark Young -October 30, 2018

Ellsworth Statler, the legendary American hotelier, was a visionary who applied late 19th and early 20th century advances in technology and modern business systems to hotel operations. In applying these modern efficiencies while simultaneously maintaining the comforts and elegance that customers expected, Statler helped create the most successful American hotel chain of the first half of the 20th century.

Before hotels, Statler operated dining rooms and restaurants. When the Louisiana Purchase Exposition and World’s Fair—better known as the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair—was announced, his interest was piqued. Fair organizers were worried that the existing hotels in St. Louis would be overwhelmed with visitors. Even with the construction of many new hotels to serve the fairgoers, there was a fear that the scarcity of accommodations might negatively impact the fair and city. Nervous fair organizers approached Statler, who had successfully operated a large temporary hotel at the 1901 Pan American Exposition in Buffalo, New York.

They asked if he would be able to construct and manage a large temporary hotel for the exposition. Statler offered to build a structure that would house fairgoers and provide dining facilities inside the fairgrounds. That hotel—the only one within the fairgrounds —was appropriately called the “Inside Inn.” Although a temporary structure, it was described as the “largest hotel ever built in the history of the world.” It occupied the equivalent of four city blocks and ranged from two to four stories high. Incredibly for the time, the Inside Inn contained 2,257 rooms, 500 with private baths and another 500 with bath/shower combinations; for guests in the remaining rooms, there were common facilities. There were 156 bellboys—as they were called then—to assist the guests. The room rates started at $1.50.

The Inside Inn was the largest hotel in the world at the time it was built. To accommodate its many guests, the Inside Inn had 156 bell boys. Ellsworth Statler’s hospitality experience led him to create Statler Hotels, one of the United States’ earliest hotel chains.

The wood structure used a fireproof material called Sackett Patent Board, plastered over with green fire-retardant burlap wallpaper. Fireproof burlap was used on the ceilings and floors to add extra safety and comfort. The outside of the structure was given a whitewashed plaster appearance with Moorish turrets to look like most of the fair’s other structures.

The kitchen was said to be the largest in the world. For the month of June 1904, it used 12,270 dozen eggs, 1,180 bushels of potatoes, 401,618 pounds of meat, 244 barrels of flour, 9,605 pounds of butter, 8,824 gallons of milk, and 6,014 pounds of coffee. The dining room had the capacity to serve over 2,000 guests with the option of an American or European dining plan. Statler first hired male waiters but later switched to female waiters, finding them more courteous and dependable. The food was described as good and reasonably priced.

Thanks to Statler, the tourists visiting the 1904 World’s Fair were assured of a clean, safe hotel with dining facilities that ran smoothly. The fair ran from May through November. In the end, Ellsworth Statler made a tidy profit of over $360,000—not bad, considering the average American worker earned between $200 and $400 per year in 1904. At the close of the fair, the Inside Inn, like most other fair structures, was demolished and sold for scrap.

Mark Young
Mark Young, Ph.D., is director of the Hospitality Industry Archives at the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel & Restaurant Management, University of Houston.
John J Hogan, CHA CMHS CHE CHO   

John@Hoganhospitality.com       Office 480-436-0283   Cell 602-799-5375

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A very good introduction for those looking to find the value of “mindfulness.”​

 Get Some Headspace: How Mindfulness Can Change Your Life in Ten Minutes a Day

My son lived in Korea for five years and had communicated a number of Eastern beliefs and practices from his time there and I therefore had a fundamental awareness of the topic of mindfulness through meditation.

The title of this book intrigued me because like many Westerners, I felt a void in certain areas and felt “head space” could be a positive. The author, Andy Puddicombe, is a former Buddhist monk and is recognized as an important mindfulness meditation expert in the UK.

The introduction seems a bit drawn out, but it actually dispels some myths about meditation and introduces the reader to the reasons behind the concepts in the book. It addresses the values and principles of meditation, and the author’s personal experiences.

The book is in sections

1. ‘The Approach’

2. The Practice’

3. ‘The Integration’,

Each of these move the reader from background and general interest to preparing to meditate and then to incorporating the concept of mindfulness into your life.

Along the way are a series of short exercises one can do while reading, which is really a good introduction.

The book is manageable and easy to follow. Personal examples and stories are blended throughout the book and make the topics easier to follow as he is describing them.

He tries to balance the value of meditation between focus and relaxation, which makes the comments on mindfulness more understandable. The focus of “Get Some Headspace” is a greater awareness and understanding of ourselves and those we interact with. It focuses on finding our inner self, choosing how we see life and how we communicate and communicate with others

Puddicombe declares that meditating just ten minutes a day increases productivity, clarity and focus, reduces stress and anxiety, and helps with weight loss, improves sleep and personal relationships. He quotes research on increased blood flow and physical changes in the part of the brain that helps to control emotions and behavior and that mindfulness training can effectively treat certain addictions and eating disorders. There are claims of enhanced performance, in making sleep easier, and in a series of other improvements in cognitive skills and reducing the intensity of negative emotions, anxiety and harmful stress.

In reading books that claim to be life changing, it is always a challenge to write a meaningful and early review until one gets to judge the lasting benefits. The author’s website includes 10 free audio mediation sessions, which are supportive in trying to learn the how and why of the 10 minute habit.

I rate a 4 Star, and feel that “Get Some Headspace” is a very good introduction for beginners those looking to find the value of “mindfulness.”

John J Hogan, CHA CMHS CHE CHO    John@Hoganhospitality.com

Office 480-436-0283   Cell 602-799-5375

Hotelier, Speaker, Educator, Author, Expert Witness

John J. Hogan, CHA CMHS CHE CHO

Speaker, Author, Expert Witness, Hotelier,Educator