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Holiday Inn Absorbs ‘Borrowed’ Towel Tales

The renowned Holiday Inn
green-striped towels have wrapped wet swimsuits, priceless antiques and
countless souvenirs. In a pinch, they have also served as diapers,
band-aids and security blankets. True accounts of the Holiday Inn brand’s iconic green-striped towels come
to life in About the towels, we forgive you: Absorbing Tales of Borrowed
Towels—a full-color coffee table book that traces a 52-year history of
Holiday Inn through stories from guests who have “borrowed” its towels.
Proceeds from the book sales will benefit Give Kids The World, a
non-profit resort for children with life-threatening illnesses, which was
founded in 1986 by Holiday Inn franchisee Henry Landwirth.

“This book is not as much a celebration of the Holiday Inn towel as it is
a celebration of the very people who possess them,” said Mark Snyder,
senior vice president, brand management, Holiday Inn Hotels & Resorts.
“The towels are physical reminders of fond and special memories that live
on in the hearts and minds of their owners.”

Recognizing the towel-borrowing trend as guests’ affinity for the beloved
brand rather than petty theft, Holiday Inn gave the world a chance to tell
its Holiday Inn towel stories by declaring Aug. 28, 2003, “Towel Amnesty
Day.” For every towel story shared, Holiday Inn donated and matched one
dollar to Give Kids The World. The response was overwhelming as thousands
of people wrote to share their experiences.

About the towels combines these true, poignant stories with a photographic
history of Holiday Inn to create a humorous and reflective look at the
brand’s legacy and the hotel towel that has earned a permanent place in

Of the stories included in the book, topics range from the humorous to the
“After college I headed west and stayed at Holiday Inns across the
country. Knowing at the end of each day’s drive a clean room, soft bed and a Holiday Inn towel awaited me. Over the years my Holiday Inn
towels have seen me through thick and thin. I arrived in LA and started
working immediately. They were the first towels in my apartment, held
roses in the backseat for girlfriends, camped in Sequoia and comforted
cats to the vet. Better than Downey; softer than Charmin - I love my Holiday Inn towels. Thanks for the memories.”
    J. Gondek, Saugus, CA


    “Ironic our towel was borrowed after leaving Give Kids the World. My
daughter had a small medical crisis on the way home. We stayed in a
Holiday Inn overnight while awaiting a procedure at a local hospital.
Before leaving, I grabbed a towel so my daughter could lay her head
down in route to hospital. She loved the feel of it and rubbed it throughout the procedure and it made everything ‘all better’. The towel
came home with us along with lasting memories of once in a lifetime
trip to GKTW.”
    G. Kish, Scranton, PA

Peter Greenberg, travel editor of NBC’s “Today” show and the author of
Hotel Secrets from the Travel Detective, wrote the foreword for the book
and admits that even he has Holiday Inn towels, which conjure up memories
of a “particularly interesting” business trip in 1972.

Copies of About the towels are available at beginning today. Once again, the Web
site will include a forum for people to share their towel stories—how
they got them and where they’ve been all these years. For every story
collected, Holiday Inn will donate one dollar to Give Kids The World. In
addition, the first 1,000 people who purchase the book will receive a
limited-edition Holiday Inn keepsake hand towel. About the towels, we
forgive you: Absorbing Tales of Borrowed Towels retails for $25.00.