Howard Johnson's Landmark: September, 1984; page 1 

Danville, Virginia -- 100 Tower Dr
Two glass elevators rise six floors from the one-and-a -half story skylit lobby. Stone, tile, natural wood, brick and expanses of bronze-tinted glass give an open, contemporary feeling. The lobby is warm and inviting with earth tones, Oriental rugs, handsome wall coverings and plants.

One of the last Howard Johnson's Motor Lodges to employ standardized guest rooms and building design, the 120 unit six floor Danville site was touted as a full-service hotel when it opened in April of 1984. It was built on a plateau which afforded guests panoramic views of Danville and the Dan River. Moreover its placement allowed for extremely high visibility since the location could be seen by motorists from every highway approaching the city of Danville! When it opened, it was the fifth Howard Johnson's franchised to SAE's Cecil Jeter and John Daniel.

From the Southeastern Review: The classically designed hotel offers guests numerous luxuries: two glass elevators, balconies, both of which provide magnificent views of the city, exquisitely decorated sixth floor "Executive Section," and the walking distance convenience of the new modern Piedmont Mall. The sixth floor is comprised of 20 of the hotel's 120 rooms. Each room is flawlessly decorated with classic English furniture featuring a king size bed, a large desk, a lounge chair, and either a sleep sofa or a recliner. The guests are complimented with wine, mints, amenity kits, wake-up coffee, and newspaper, all of which provide an at/home atmosphere.

Southeastern Review: Vol. V, No. 1, October 1984 
Photograph Caption: Southeastern is proud to introduce its newest lodging facility adjacent to Piedmont Mall in Danville, Va. Centrally located at the intersection of Routes 29 and 58, the 120 room property features a unique Executive Section on its top floor, elevators with a view of the city, and Charley's Restaurant, known for a menu which satisfies the most discriminating tastes.


By the late 1970s, HoJo's branded lodging facilities were no longer required to include an Orange Roofed Howard Johnson's restaurant, and Danville did not feature one. Instead the hotel included a Charley's Restaurant and Lounge which was one of a chain. It was described as a 220 seat restaurant with a 1920s decor. The chain was started in 1978 by retired baseball player Charley Sands and featured locations in Virginia and North Carolina before going out-of-business. The unit at Danville became a Ground Round in 1988, Fountains Grille and Tavern by 1999, and in 2002 was called Feat the Gaslight Grille.

As an upscale Howard Johnson's, the hotel featured Executive Section rooms on its sixth floor which included living room suites boasting "window-walls" with panoramic views. The facility also included meeting rooms, and had an outdoor swimming pool. During 2003, the property gave up its Howard Johnson name and was converted into Choice Hotel's Comfort Inn brand.

Lobby card circa 2000s 
Photographs courtesy of Phil Edwards