Preliminary Guide to the Westin Hotels and Resorts Records, circa 1920s-2004

Overview of the Collection

Westin Hotels and Resorts.
Preliminary Guide to the Westin Hotels and Resorts Records
circa 1920s-2004 (inclusive)
47 Linear feet of shelf space, (44 Boxes)
Collection Number
MSSM.095 (collection)
Archives of Westin Hotels and Resorts, and collections of historical materials about the company and its properties from former employees.
Washington State University Libraries' Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections (MASC)
Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections
Terrell Library Suite 12
Pullman, WA
Telephone: 509-335-6691
Access Restrictions

This collection is open and available for research use.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

[From the guide to the Westin Hotels & Resorts, J. William Keithan archives, 1905-2004 (Cage 656)]

The firm known today as Westin Hotels and Resorts was formed in 1930 under the name Western Hotels, Inc. The idea for the company was conceived at an informal meeting in Yakima, Washington, between hoteliers Severt W. Thurston and Frank Dupar. Creating a management company to oversee the operations of all of their hotels, they reasoned, would help the hotels address Depression-era business conditions more effectively. Thurston and Dupar approached Peter and Adolph Schmidt, who operated five hotels in the Puget Sound area, with the idea, and the three groups agreed to pool their resources.

In 1930, Western Hotels operated seventeen hotels, all but one of them, The Boise, in Washington State. The firm expanded rapidly, however, to more accurately reflect its name. In 1931, Western Hotels ventured into both Vancouver, British Columbia, and Portland, Oregon. By 1941, Western had expanded into both Alaska and California. A decade later, Montana and Utah were added to the list of states served by Western Hotels. By then, a subsidiary company, Western Service and Supply Co., had been created to facilitate the operation of the growing number of Western Hotels.

Through the 1940s and most of the 1950s, Western Hotels remained focused primarily on management, supervising the policies and operations of its various hotels, but also emphasizing their individuality. Each hotel retained its own corporate and finan cial structure, and the notion of a "chain" of hotels was de-emphasized in advertising. Increasingly, however, the company began to wield greater influence on its properties, and in 1958, a decision was made to merge the better producing propert ies into a strong equity company. Western continued to expand not only in the western United States, but abroad as well, necessitating a name change in 1963 to Western International Hotels. In the mid-1960s, the capital structure of the firm was broadened , and Western International became a publicly-held company with its shares traded on the American Stock Exchange.

In 1970, Western International entered into a merger with United Airlines, Inc. Western International continued, however, as an autonomous, wholly-owned subsidiary of UAL Inc., with management and headquarters remaining in Seattle. During its associa tion with UAL Inc., Western simplified its name to the current form: Westin. The partnership with UAL Inc. came to an end after a failed attempt to unify Westin, United Airlines, Hertz, Hilton, and other travel-related companies as a one-stop travel compa ny under the name Allegis Corp. Subsequently, Aoki Corp., of Japan, purchased Westin in 1988 and sold it, in turn, to Starwood Capital Group, L.P. and Goldman, Sachs, and Co. in November 1994. In 1998, Starwood Capital assumed full ownership. In 2016, Marriott International acquired Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, including Westin.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

This collection consists of Westin Hotels and Resorts records, and collections of papers and memorabilia from former employees.

Preliminary inventory (in order by accession number):

MS.1999.48: Westin Hotels and Resorts records, 1975-1999. 10 boxes. Donated by Westin Corporation, via Judy Williams. This accession consists of records was transferred after the closure of the Westin office in Seattle, following the corporation's acquisition by Starwood. No inventory available.

MS.2001.14: Westin Hotels and Resorts records and collections, 1970-1993. 6 boxes. Donated by Westin Corporation archivist Bill Keithan. No inventory available. Includes some artifacts (box 6).

MS.2003.12: Westin Hotels and Resorts records, 1975-2002. 2 boxes. Donated by Westin Corporation archivist Bill Keithan. No inventory available.

MS.2006.11: Westin Hotels and Resorts records, circa 1950-1999. 1 box. Donated by Westin Corporation/Starwood, via Sue Brush. No inventory available.

MS.2006.17: Westin Alumni Association records, 1980-2004. 6 boxes. This collection consists of records of the Westin Alumni Association, a group of former employees (retirees) of the Westin Hotels Corporation. Donated by the Westin Alumni Association. No inventory available.

MS.2009.01: Westin Hotels film, 1973. Received from Weyerhauser Corporation, after being found in their advertising archives. This collection consists of a single item, a 1973 film with clips of employees and ad spots.

MS.2009.09: Westin Hotels mounted photographs of properties, circa 1980s-1990s. 3 boxes. No acquisition record on file.

MS.2009.25: Westin Hotels and Resorts records and realia, circa 1940-2004. 6 boxes plus oversize items. Donated by the Westin Alumni Association. Property project notebooks maintained by Bill Keithan; realia, clippings, and miscellaneous items collected by Bill Keithan; material gathered by Chuck Comstock, primarily from Bob Dupar, including corporate and property publications, bundle of clippings, and more realia; small amount of records and photographs related to WARE (Westin Association of Retired Employees).

Boxes 1-4: Bill Keithan property project notebooks.

Box 5. Bill Keithan and Bob Dupar materials: realia, clippings, WARE, etc.

Box 6. Keithan materials (clippings); Dupar materials (realia and clippings).

Oversize: framed art (group caricature, Hotel Alameda, 1961, with documentation).

MS.2014.25: Westin Hotels realia collection, circa 1964-1970s. 1 box. Donated by Fran Linquist, widow of former Westin president Bob Lindquist.

Westin Hotels realia: plates from Trader Vic's (1) and Palm Court (1); pens (2) and key tag (1); issues of Front! and Western Guest featuring the Alameda, Mexico City (1965); print of the Ilikai.

MS.2016.14.prov: Miscellaneous Westin materials, circa 1920s-2000. 5 boxes plus oversize. Donated by the Westin Corporation. This accession was created for unprocessed material that was either (a) not accessioned when received or (b) excluded from processing of Cage 656, but retained from MS.1998.12 and MS.2000.23, for undocumented reasons. No inventory available.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Copyright restrictions may apply.

Preferred Citation

[Item description]

Preliminary Guide to the Westin Hotels and Resorts Records, circa 1920s-2004 (MSSM.095)

Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries, Pullman, WA.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


This is an unprocessed collection. Arrangement reflects a pre-existing order from the records’ creators or previous custodians.

Location of Collection

(MASC STAFF USE) MS.1999.48: W4-6-18-6; MS.2001.14: W4-6-21-1; MS.2003.12: W4-6-21-4; MS.2006.11: W4-6-20-4; MS.2006.17: W4-6-21-5; MS.2009.01: W4-6-20-5; MS.2009.09: 2-9-10-7; MS.2009.25: 2-5-23-1 and 2-5-25-1; MS.2014.25: 2-9-12-7; MS.2016.14.prov: W4-8-18-2

Acquisition Information

This collection was acquired in multiple installments from Westin Hotels and Resorts, and from former employees of the company, between 1999 and 2014 (MS.1999.48, MS.2001.14, MS.2003.12, MS.2006.11, MS.2006.17, MS.2009.01, MS.2009.09, MS.2009.25, MS.2014.25, MS.2016.14.prov.).

Related Materials

Westin Hotels and Resorts, J. William Keithan archives, 1905-2004 (Cage 656)

Georgina P. Tucker papers, 1920-1997 (Cage 732)

Westin Hotels and Resorts, Chef Walter Roth Papers, circa 1951-1980s (Cage 820)

Sid Copeland, "The Story of Western International Hotels," circa 2003 (Cage 834)

Westin Hotels and Resorts Management Conference Photographs, 1957-1988 (Cage 5148)

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Hotels -- History -- Sources

Corporate Names

  • Western International Hotels -- Records and correspondence
  • Westin Hotels & Resorts -- Records and correspondence

Other Creators

  • Corporate Names
    • Western International Hotels (creator)