Kissimmee, Florida -- 5300 Space Coast Pkwy
(5300 W Irlo Bronson Mem Hwy-- U.S. 192)

Jumping on to the bandwagon, the Howard Johnson Company joined the likes of Holiday Inn, Stuckey's, Days Inn and other hospitality concerns in offering its famous name on campground signs. Part of a new division in HJ's Accommodations Group, there were to be three kinds of campgrounds. The first was proposed to serve overnight campers in a convenient location for those "on-the-way." Next was the "destination" site -- near a lake, ocean, historic, or resort area. Finally was the combined destination and on-the-way campground offering the best of all worlds.

Alas the project was nearly still born, for the OPEC oil embargo sent shock waves through the Nation's economy dampening the demand for campgrounds and other economy lodging facilities. While three HJ campgrounds were planned only the first two got off the ground, and they were short lived.

Photograph June 24, 2006

HJ Campgrounds Division
Opened in August of 1973 by Licensees Mat Alfie and Bruce Campbell, HoJo's Kissimmee campground was managed on-site by the husband and wife team of Marilyn and Russ Pundy. Only five miles from Walt Disney World, the facility was planned to offer as many as 669 campsites once completed.

By the 2000s the Campground had become Sherwood Forest RV Resort--a part of Equity Lifestyle Properties. While the campground was still an important aspect of the facility, greater emphasis had been placed on its larger section of manufactured homes for sale and rent.

Left: Note the original, but recycled Howard Johnson's Campground highway sign.

USGS satellite image: © Microsoft Corporation
Howard Johnson's Landmark: Sept-Oct 1973 pg. 3
For Children, This Campground is a Playground --
The Kids, and their parents, find picnic tables and a barbeque at each site, paddle boats, sailboats, and pool in the hospitality center, shuffle board, miniature golf and horse back trails amidst acres of natural beauty at Kissimmee.

Postcard circa 1975 (depicts location in Bowling Green, KY)
Wildwood, Florida -- SR 44 @ I-75
3 Penny Inn
Only four 3 Penny Inns were ever opened, and Wildwood was the second. It was new construction based on plans created by the Company's architectural department, and was operated directly by the
Howard Johnson Company.
Lobby card circa 1975: Courtesy of Dan Donahue

Centsible Lodging
Created "to broaden the scope of Howard Johnson's lodging facilities and meet the needs of budget minded travelers," Howard B. Johnson described the 3 Penny Inn concept as "very attractive in terms of price, but there are immediate visible differences in the facilities and furnishings compared to a Howard Johnson's (Motor Lodge). The 3 Penny Inn provides the basic essentials, but is not not usually accompanied by a restaurant. Construction costs run a little more than half the standard HJ."

A clever and creative idea, 3 Penny Inn was hatched at a bad time. Answering Holiday Inn's Jr. concept, the Company hoped to create a successful entry into the "budget" niche, but the OPEC oil embargo crashed the party.