WESTMINSTER — Days Inn of America, financially squeezed by debt and the inexpensive rates it helped pioneer, has filed for bankruptcy protection and will be acquired by the parent company of rivals Ramada and Howard Johnson.
Carroll County has one Days Inn on Route 140, competing against the Comfort Inn and Lee's Motel.
Tim Hussion, manager of the Westminster inn, said the sale shouldhave no effect on the operation of the motel. Each motel will keep its individuality and continue to fly the Days Inn flag.
"The Days Inn system was bought about a year ago by Tollman-Hunly and, from a local level, we didn't realize a change had taken place," he said. "Weanticipate the same thing taking place this time."
The sale of Days Inn to Hospitality Franchise Systems Inc., which is run by a former Days Inn chairman, would create the world's largest hotel franchiser.
JOS. BANK ISSUES CARDS
HAMPSTEAD -- Jos. A. Bank Clothiers, theNorth Carroll-based clothing company, will begin issuing its own credit cards next month.
The company, which operates 40 retail stores, also said it is moving and upgrading stores in Philadelphia, St. Louis and Louisville, Ky., and opening a new one near Orlando, Fla.
Jos. A. Bank will offer the new credit card to 385,000 regular customers who have been pre-approved for credit. The strategy is expected to boost the company's overall revenue by increasing the buying power of its customers, said Timothy F. Finley, chairman and chief executive officer.
In an arrangement typical for so-called "third-party" credit cards, Jos. A. Bank will not run its own credit department but will turn over its credit-card receivables to General Electric Credit.
Finley said he expects 1991 revenue to be about $140 million.
The Jos. A. Bank company faced substantial liquidity problems in recent years as it struggled to pay off debt from its 1986 leveraged buyout. Earlier this year, the company persuaded bondholders to accept stock in exchange for $50 million in bonds.
The company also cut costs by moving its headquarters staff from Owings Mills to Hampstead this summer.
In another move to upgrade, the company is adding a computer system at all of its stores, which Finley said will allow sales personnel to serve customers more quickly by passing a wand over a bar code on the item being sold. The use of bar-code scanning also allows the company to keep track of inventory more easily.
The company also will use the computer system to organize information on customers' preferences.