Remembering Ray Sawyer

Ray Sawyer, president and co-founder of Budget Host Inns, died in early March at age 71. He started the budget chain in 1975 as a way to provide economy property operators with a high level of service at low costs. Many of the chain's original members are still part of the 150-plus-property system.

Ray, a graduate of Northwestern State University in Louisiana, began his hospitality industry career as assistant editor and later editor of Motel/Motor Inn Journal. He left the magazine to start Budget Host.

Lisa Sawyer, his daughter and a Budget Host vice president, succeeds Ray as president of the Texas-based chain. She joined the company 11 years ago after a career in the telecommunications business. Ray is also survived by his wife Dolores, another daughter Linda and four grandchildren.

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