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Day, Cecil Burke


Developer Cecil Burke Day was born in Brooklet, Georgia on December 10, 1934. A 1958 Georgia Tech graduate, Day became an immediate success in a real estate firm, working his way up to vice-president and commercial sales manager within four years. In October 1962, he opened his own business - Day Realty Associates. By 1968, his company had expanded to include income properties, commercial brokerage, land and property management, and motel site selection. While touring New England in 1968, Day conceived the idea of convenient and moderately priced hotels for travelers. Upon returning to Georgia, he launched Days Inns of America, Inc. in March 1970. The following month the first Days Inn (originally designated as “8 Days Inn” in recognition of the original $8 basic rate) opened on Tybee Island at what was then known as Savannah Beach. The initial motel had no swimming pool or restaurant, but the $8.00 per night rate made it very popular with tourists. By the time of Day’s death in 1978, his motel chain consisted of 301 inns and lodges spread across twenty-seven states and Canada. Day was a devout Baptist who regularly tithed ten percent of his considerable earnings to the church and placed a Gideon Bible in each of his hotel rooms. He died in Atlanta, Georgia on December 15, 1978.