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The 1960s were marked by steady and rapid expansion for Howard Johnson's rendering it the largest hospitality concern in the world. Several new divisions were created to facilitate the growth, including the International Division which was responsible for overseeing locations beyond the bounds of the United States. As early as 1959, a Howard Johnson's Lodge and Restaurant facility had been operating in Nassau. However it was not until the late 1960s that the HJ Company announced its intentions to actively seek sites abroad.

Since Howard Johnson had become a publicly traded company, Wall Street's emphasis on earnings and shareholder value spurred HJ's management to seek international expansion while minimizing itself to risk. Thus the Company sought to issue franchises and limited licensing agreements for locations abroad rather than operating or directly owning any foreign sites. Moreover, Howard Johnson's also felt pressure to expand because of Holiday Inn's successful entry into new markets across the globe.

Unfortunately and with few exceptions, Howard Johnson's was ill suited to oversee an international empire of HoJo's. The company's experience and mode of operation simply did not work in most places outside of the United States, and the Orange Roofed chain was unable or unwilling to modify itself for success in other markets. Within four years of starting, Howard Johnson's had abandoned its bid to be worldwide.



The first Howard Johnson's outside of the United States was in Nassau, Bahamas. A complete Lodge and Restaurant complex, it was sited on Cable Beach. It was a precursor to modern resort hotels. Within a few years of its opening, the Lodge dropped its Howard Johnson's affiliation, but the Restaurant remained a Howard Johnson's until the middle 1980s.

Locations in the Bahamas:
Nassau -- Nassau Beach Lodge
Nassau -- British Colonial Hotel
Freeport -- Castaways Resort

Brochure circa 1960s: Courtesy of Dan Donahue

HJ Directory April 1, 1970 - Sept. 30, 1970: page 12

1970 marked an exciting time for the Howard Johnson Company as it had endeavored to expand throughout Europe.

First stop was Amsterdam where the Howard Johnson's hotel Amsterdam opened in October of 1970 with Howard B. Johnson officially opening the first (and only) HoJo's on "the Continent."


Postcard circa 1971 -- Toronto Airport Complex

Canada's first Howard Johnson's Restaurant opened in Montreal on August 18, 1970 under sublicense by Orangeroof Canada Limited.

Orangeroof planned to open 40 HoJo's by 1990! The Canadian franchise was the only successful "foreign" operation of HoJo's.

Locations in Canada:
New Brunswick


Howard Johnson Landmark: August, 1970; page 3

Osaka, Japan -- Olympic Park, Expo '70


Located near the U.S. Pavilion, a limited service Howard Johnson's was open during Osaka's World Exposition in 1970--Progress and Harmony for Mankind. The unit sold HoJo's food items such as frankforts, hamburgers, and ice cream.

Note that it closed in September of 1970 along with the Fair. Interestingly prior Fairs in 1964-'65 and 1967 located in the United States and Canada did not include Howard Johnson's within either exposition.



In 1970, the Howard Johnson Company agreed to allow Howard Johnson's de Mexico, SA to operate Howard Johnson's Restaurants and Motor Lodges in Mexico. The first Lodge to open was new construction in Tampico. It offered 126 rooms, a nightclub, cocktail lounge, and roof terrace with a heliport. The Fiesta Howard Johnson's Hotel Inglaterra was accompanied by a 180 seat HoJo's Restaurant.

Dodged by quality control issues the Howard Johnson Company revoked the Mexican agreement in 1973, and ended Howard Johnson's presence South of the Boarder.

Locations de Mexico:
Cuernavaca -- Km 93 Highway 95
Tampico -- opposite Main Square

(Restaurants Only)
Mexico City -- Lourdes Section
Mexico City -- Frontera Street

Howard Johnson's Landmark: October 1972; page 1--Tampico

Brochure circa 1980: Courtesy of Dan Donahue
Not opened until about 1979 or early 1980, this stand alone Restaurant was opened at Freeport's Castaways Resort complex.

Howard Johnson's Landmark: February 1970; page 1

BARBADOS -- Dover Beach
Billed as the company's first resort hotel, the Barbados unit was to offer 150 rooms overlooking the water. Additionally it was slated to include a free standing Restaurant designed to give the feeling of an open air pavilion.

It was to be a licensed unit operated by KLM, Herbert Pulitzer, and Joseph Dryer. However the site never became a HoJo's.



Other International Howard Johnson's

Santo Domingo -- Ice Cream Parlor opened in March 1977

Djakarta (Jakarta) -- Howard Johnson's Kartika Hotel opened in early 1970, and like Amsterdam and the proposed Barbados location it was a joint venture between Herbert Pulitzer and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.
Perhaps this is the property today:

Montego Bay -- License agreement in 1970 with Marshall Reisman to build
a Hotel and Restaurant--never opened

Planned for 1972:

Also see listing for locations in Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands on the main map page