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The Drury Story
Missouri mules - The first Drury "family pets".
Missouri mules - The first
Drury "family pets".

It all started on a small farm in the Bootheel of Southeast Missouri back in the 1940's. Kelso, Missouri, to be exact. Maybe you've heard of the famous kettle beef and chicken & dumplings served at every wedding reception held at the Kelso Knights of Columbus Hall for the past half century. Maybe not. There's not much in Kelso except hard-working people hoping for good weather and a bumper crop that never seems to come around quite as often as needed. Lambert Drury and his sons supplemented their farm income (when there was any) with plastering jobs on the side. Soon their reputation for doing quality work at a reasonable price allowed them to grow the business into a full-time venture. First some tile jobs, then some small construction jobs. Always focused on quality, service, innovation and value. You see, Lambert Drury wouldn't have it any other way.

Things didn't always go according to plan. Like the time when they hauled the sand for a plaster job in the back of a truck that had just dropped off a load of soybeans. Two days after the initial plaster coat had been troweled, you can imagine the surprise of the homeowners who found their walls had started to sprout soybeans. The Drury brothers made the job right for the customer and learned a valuable lesson about truck beds that would later provide the foundation for a successful hotel operation: Things can never be too clean.

The Drury's built their very first hotel, a Holiday Inn, in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. After making money on the rooms side of the business only to lose it all on the restaurant and lounge side, they settled on a new hotel concept that separated the rooms from the food & beverage operations. The first Drury Inn opened in Sikeston, Missouri, with a rate of $10.88. The Drury brothers had learned that you always give the customer more than what they could get at any other hotel -- that's how you keep them coming back. Cleaner rooms, friendlier team members, and extras that don't cost extra.

Lambert Drury - founding father of the Drury family business.
Lambert Drury - founding father of the Drury family business.

Driven by a genetically-induced desire to find ways of making a visit to a Drury Hotel even better, our Drury Team continued to innovate. In 1986, Drury became the first system of hotels to offer Free QUIKSTART® Breakfast, with healthy choices that broke through the stale-donut-and-lukewarm-coffee-continental-breakfast barrier. We made a splash with our first indoor/outdoor pool in 1995, Free Evening Beverages & Snacks rolled out in 1998, followed by Free High-Speed Internet in 2002, Free HOT! QUIKSTART® Breakfast in 2003, Free Long Distance Calls in 2004, Free Wireless Internet in 2007, and the Free 5:30 Kickback® with Hot Food and Cold Beverages in 2009. What's next? Free Lamps? Free Pillows? Well, no. But stay tuned, we just can't seem to ever leave well enough alone.

Drury Hotels has been recognized with the award for Highest in Guest Satisfaction among Mid-Scale Hotel Chains, Nine Years in a Row by J.D. PowerAnd apparently our innovations and Free Extras are resonating with our guests, because for nine consecutive years (2006 - 2014) the folks at J.D. Power have recognized Drury Hotels with the award for "Highest in Guest Satisfaction Among Mid-Scale Hotel Chains". More than 60,000 guests are surveyed each year and contribute to this study.

Drury Hotels continues to be 100% family owned and operated. This is very different from those big franchise-based hotel chains where you have one group that owns the hotel, another that manages it, and still another that owns the name on the building. That just doesn't work for us -- how can you keep all that straight! You see, we like to keep things simple. And, one more thing: "Hi, my name is Drury Hotels, and I am a control freak." There, we've said it. And, actually, we're rather proud of it, because it's the only way we know of to make it right for the customer every time, every visit.

Chuck Drury, President of Drury Hotels Company, LLC., sums it up, "We're different than the big franchise chains. We build, own and operate all of our hotels. Our focus is ensuring that our guests get more for their dollar than at our competitors. If we provide a consistent experience at every one of our hotels, we believe we can be the first choice as a home away from home."

Sikeston, MO - circa 1973.
Sikeston, MO - circa 1973.

For 40 years, Drury has continued to stick with the basics that helped the company grow from a small plastering business in the Bootheel of Missouri to a successful, growing system of 130 hotels in 20 states. The exceptionally friendly and hard working team members at every Drury Hotel share the same simple virtues that the brothers learned on the family farm and adapted to the road . . . You are our guest, you are welcome and your satisfaction is guaranteed!

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