I'm going to make a wild, brash assumption and say that this preceded the invention of television.

Statler, one of the more solid names in the business, is described thus by Wikipedia: "one of the United States' early chains of hotels catering for traveling businessmen and tourists." As opposed to all those other people who needed rooms in strange cities. Their ads in the 40s emphasized their comfy beds; for a while that was their trademark. The Statler Bed.

Started in Buffalo, built some large solid standard-style hotels here and there, and bought the Penn. The chain was sold to Hilton in '54, in "the world's largest real estate trasaction."

$111 mil.