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Drury Hotels founder Charles Drury Sr. dies

"His vision and leadership helped grow the family-owned business based on a simple principle — treat guests like family"
Credit: UPI
Charles Drury Sr., who founded the Drury Hotels chain along with his brothers, pictured in this July 2020 file photo,has died at the age of 92, in St. Louis on Wednesday, September 9, 2020. With his brothers, Drury established the Drury hotel brand in 1973. Over the past 47 years, Drury Hotels has grown to more than 150 locations in 27 states and is one of the most respected and recognized names in the hospitality industry today. In July, Charles Drury and wife Shirley, were awarded The Order of Saint Louis King by the Archdiocese of St. Louis. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI

ST. LOUIS — Charles Drury Sr., who helped found the national chain of hotels that carries the family's name and other businesses, died Monday in St. Louis. He was 92.

With his brothers, Drury started the hotel business in 1973. The company's website says the St. Louis-based business now has 5,000 employees and more than 150 locations in 25 states.

Drury Hotels said in a statement to the Southeast Missourian newspaper that "our company's culture has been greatly shaped and influenced by the creativity and passion Mr. Drury contributed with every waking moment.

"His vision and leadership helped grow the family-owned business based on a simple principle — treat guests like family," it continued. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the Drury family."

The privately owned firm is now headed by Drury's son, President and CEO Chuck Drury.

A Missourian obituary said Drury was born in 1927 and raised on a farm near Kelso, Missouri, south of Cape Girardeau. I It said Drury and his brothers supplemented the family's farm income with a small plastering business, and in the 1961 opened a Holiday Inn on Cape Girardeau's west side, which saw growth because of construction of Interstate 55.

They pivoted to a hotel model with no restaurant or bar, opening the first Drury in Sikeston. The family has also been active in the outdoor advertising and fast food sectors.

RELATED: Drury mixing historic and modern with downtown Milwaukee hotel (photos)