Formed by California hotel owner, M. K. Guertin, the man who pioneered the use of mattresses, linens, and A/C in the hotel industry. Guertin and 66 other motel/inn owners formed Best Western in 1946 as a referral system. Members motels would share expenses, and would refer customers to each other's motels. The group gave out a free travel guide that is still produced today, and has members worldwide. It's famous crown logo was put into use in 1962.
Kaszynski, William. The American Highway. McFarland & Co., Inc., Publishers. Jefferson. 2000.