Red Roof Inn


Red Roof Inn is an economy hotel chain with over 650 properties globally, primarily in the Midwest, Southern, and Eastern United States. Founded in 1973 by Jim Trueman, the chain has grown exponentially since the first hotel where you could “sleep cheap!” at $8.50/night!

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Aurora Exhibits’ founder and current Creative Director, Joan Gaudion McKinney has been a vendor-partner with Red Roof since 1984. Notable projects have included:

• Printing the Roofline newsletter while working for Repro Group, Ltd; an offset printing company in Worthington.
• The Display of Bobby Rahal’s Indy 500 win in the lower level of what was affectionally known as “The Cedar Palace”; Red Roof Inn’s beautiful headquarters in Hilliard. Red Roof Inns was a major sponsor of Rahal’s Truesports team.

  • The Memorial Display for Jim Trueman at the Red Roof Headquarters in the 9-hole golf course’s “clubhouse”.  Mr. Trueman died just 6 weeks after the Indy win.
  • Tradeshow Manager of Record since 1991 – memorable moments:
    • Red Roof Inns 3200 sq. ft. booth at the National Business Travelers Show featured 2-12’ towers, 1-16’ tower, several spinning towers and backlit graphics- all of which were new innovations at the time.  Margaritas were served in the booth in Dallas in the early 1990’s.
    • Aurora managed Accor Hotels’ booth while Red Roof was owned by them and headquartered in Dallas, TX.  The booth included Motel 6 and Studio 6, as well as Red Roof.
    • Aurora holds the industry record for most expensive tabletop unit for Red Roof’s first franchising booth circa 1997.  It emulated the “roofline” properties and had backlit graphics in the windows to show the various amenities of the time.
  • Aurora continued its relationship with the brand when they moved their headquarters back to Columbus in 2007
    • Partial Brandscape™ of their temporary office spaces adjacent to their Nationwide Boulevard property.
    • Full Interior Brandscape™ of their Brewery District headquarters on South Front Street
    • Point of Sale displays for the lobbies of the hotels.
    • Concepted, Designed, Produced and managed all tradeshow activities for the National Sales and Franchising Teams, as well as the HR/recruiting department.
    • Participated as sponsor/vendor in the Red Roof Brand Conferences and created props and displays for many of the breakout and general session productions.

BUT…Most memorable of all those years, was the HSMAI Gold Award winning two-year TRUCK TOUR to celebrate Red Roof’s 40th anniversary in 2013 and Red Roof PLUS+ brand extension in 2014. Suggesting it as a way to celebrate the milestone anniversary, Aurora Exhibit Solutions procured a 53’, double bump-out trailer and created an exact replica room to travel to national events to change minds about Red Roof!
Some of the places the tour went included The Long Beach California Grand Prix, Taste of Chicago, The Temecula, California Wine and Balloon Festival, The Country Music Awards in Nashville, The Ohio State and Texas State Fairs, The National Cherry Festival in Traverse City Michigan, The Clam Fest in Portland Maine, several Ohio State Football games, including “the big game” at Ann Arbor, and even to Canada to “Woofstock”, a large annual dog show in Toronto!