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The Cinderella HoJo (Howard Johnson's), 500 Knox Abbot Drive: 2000s   24 comments

Posted at 1:00 am in Uncategorized

Well, it was bound to happen, but now they're knocking down the "Cinderella" Howard Johnson's motel on Knox Abbot Drive. This place's claim to fame (aside from being Cayce's first "national" motel) was the whimsical Cinderella-inspired pumpkin carriage that sat in front of the lobby. This was a Cayce landmark, and the site, I gather, of innumerable high school prom pictures. In fact, in the end, I believe more people cared about what was going to happen to the carriage than cared about the motel going under, per-se. In the end, the carriage was saved and moved to City Hall, leaving the spiral staircases (which you can see in a couple of these shots) as the only touches of whimsy left in the buildings.

I'm titling this post with HoJo, since that's what everyone remembers, but in fact if I recall correctly, Howard Johnson pulled out years before the actual closure of the motel, leaving it as one of those anonymous low-budget national chains that exist only for reservations purposes.

I don't go down Knox Abbot that often, so I missed the start of demolition, and it appears that they have already taken down the lobby/office. I'm a bit concerned that the lot has been bought by CVS. To me that throws up a big question mark over the future of the CVS (the former Parkland Pharmacy) in Parkland Plaza -- The plaza really can't afford to lose that anchor...

UPDATE 31 March 2009: Added Yellow Pages ad from 1970 Southern Bell phonebook.

UPDATE 24 June 2009: The CVS built on the old HoJo site is now open:

UPDATE 7 Jan 2010: Here is the Cinderella pumpkin carraige now at the Cayce City Hall complex:

Also added full street address and full hotel name.

Written by ted on November 25th, 2008

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24 Responses to 'The Cinderella HoJo (Howard Johnson's), 500 Knox Abbot Drive: 2000s'

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  1. Actually this article is a little misleading. When the Ho-Jo closed MANY MANY years ago, it re-opened as the "Regency" hotel. The closure and demolition shown is actually that of the Regency (not the Ho-Jo). The original orange Cinderella Pumpkin which was one of the trademarks of the Ho-Jo stayed on the property during the remaining years of the Regency.

    When the Regency closed they had a auction and the City of Cayce bought the pumpkin, gave it a face lift (paint job) and put in their park located below their city hall (Granby Park)

    Now for Trivia Time.... does anyone remember the names of the Hotels across the street from the Regency on Knox Abbott Dr (which is also under construction now) I can remember TWO hotels both of which are LONG gone.

    Terry B

    26 Nov 08 at 9:29 am

  2. The two are Holiday Inn (one of the first in America) and Roger Miller's King of the Road Motel (a chain that never took off.)


    26 Nov 08 at 9:45 am

  3. Oh, after this motel cease being a HoJo it was a Roadway Inn briefly.


    26 Nov 08 at 9:46 am

  4. I grew up in West Columbia, but I think the Holiday Inn was long gone before I made the scene. I found this postcard which shows the hotel in the 50s:


    26 Nov 08 at 12:07 pm

  5. Very neat (as well as a reminder of the changing times).


    26 Nov 08 at 2:37 pm

  6. Actually, the HoJo Motor Lodge was paired with a pre-existing HoJo restaurant (anyone remember all 28 flavors of ice cream?), which was located where the BofA building now sits. The restaurant came along several years before the Motor Lodge, and it was torn down sometime in the early-mid 1980's. Probably about the same time the Motor Lodge lost the HoJo name.


    28 Nov 08 at 9:24 am

  7. It is sad to see all of the classic motels from the 60's and 70's being replaced with such stores at CVS and Walgreen's. It happens in more cities that people might think. It wont be long before Howard Johnson's will all be but a memory to the landspace of America.


    28 Nov 08 at 11:14 am

  8. The hotel across the street (from the Regency and Ho-Jo) was several... Yes it was in early years King Of The Road but lastly.... The Red Carpet Inn.

    Terry B

    28 Nov 08 at 10:20 pm

  9. The Ho-Jo Lounge.... also worthy of note to those interested in the old hotels... most all of them had a lounge as it seemed drinking was alot more accepted back in those days. The King of the Road had a lounge and the Ho-Jo had one as well.... it was a very small bar and was on the second floor of the hotel facing the State Street side (When the Regency took over, that room became the owners living area). The name of the lounge (as advertised in the "Key To Columbia" was called "The Wicked Witch Lounge" and they advertised to visit "Ruthie" in the "Wicked Witch Lounge" (I'm guessing that Ruthie was the bar manager)

    Terry B

    28 Nov 08 at 10:33 pm

  10. I guess "The Wicked Witch" goes with the fairy-tale theme of the Cinderella carriage..

    I don't suppose you have a scan of that ad?


    29 Nov 08 at 1:14 am

  11. Great. Another fucking drug store.


    29 Nov 08 at 3:26 pm

  12. re: The plaza really can’t afford to lose that anchor.

    I don't know I think it could work out for everybody. The hotel spot is a much bigger space so it'll be one of those giant CVS like the one on Assembly. As far as Parkland plaza, while times are tough for finding a tenant for a such a large spot, I'm optimistic b/c of all the development in immediate vicinity, new CVS, that bank coming up near the bridge etc so I could see a national retailer smelling the opportunity


    29 Nov 08 at 10:00 pm

  13. Progress, blah blah blah - - I still hate to see this go - & to be replaced w/ yet another drug store!!!! Blech - joke used to be that there was a starbux on every corner - now there is a drug store on just about every corner! I used to play on the grounds as a kid (parents worked long hours across the street) - they used to let the "local" kids swim there as long as we were quiet about it & didn't let the paying guests know that we weren't!!!

    I know that it was getting oh so run down, but I still had "lottery" fantasies of buying & fixing the place up into a small business center, making the rooms over into small businesses or office spaces - ah well.... onward & upward :-p

    Lisa B.

    30 Nov 08 at 1:38 pm

  14. I don't get this second boom of drugstore locations. Eckerds did this quite a few years ago and most of them seemed to fail. Seems the failed drugstores morph into Dollar Stores.


    30 Nov 08 at 3:24 pm

  15. Well, Eckerd's was good at failed strategies thus the vanishing of the chain..

    I think one of those was at Sunset & North Main, and another on Taylor just above The Township


    30 Nov 08 at 4:30 pm

  16. The Holiday Inn was across, and up the street from HOJo's. I'm not sure when it closed but I worked there as a waitress starting in 1976. Had a good time being a college student and working there. Some of the bands that came through town stayed there, like Mothers Finest (if I remember correctly).


    17 Mar 09 at 12:15 pm

  17. Was a football stadium for BC ever approved for the property where the old Holiday Inn was on Knox Abbott?


    30 Apr 09 at 8:47 pm

  18. tonkatoy

    6 May 11 at 1:28 pm

  19. Yep, there's the pumpkin!


    6 May 11 at 1:41 pm

  20. They are clearing land next door to the CVS. Pretty narrow lot. I'm hoping for a Central Park.


    5 Mar 13 at 7:38 am

  21. the CVS is a blessing to the area. The Regency Inn had become a haven for drugs and prostitution.


    18 Nov 13 at 8:38 pm

  22. There was a time years ago that a friend of mine picked up some drunk chick at New Brookland Tavern and she was 'living' in the old Regency Inn. He told me that there were 'shady' characters loitering all over the place and the the swimming pool looked like the Jolly Green Giant took a dump in it!!

    I think the remains of the Ho-Jo on Bush River Rd. are in the same state as this one was. I was filling my car up at the City Gas and the girls were standing outside the rooms whooping and hollering at anyone that would give them a glance. And this was before the Western Inn was torn down. Wonder what it's like now???

    It give a whole new meaning to the term 'HO-tel'...:^)


    19 Nov 13 at 2:02 am

  23. LOL at the NBT reference!

    I used to live at Granby Oaks and spent a lot of time at the NBT in the mid nineties.


    19 Nov 13 at 7:43 am

  24. Here's the HoJo's restaurant that was across State Street from the motel:


    22 Nov 13 at 10:51 am

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