Our History

Abbey Inn Hotels, owned and managed by Wittwer Hospitality, originated in 1948 with Lester and Vanola Wittwer, at the Wittwer Motel in Las Vegas, Nevada. After operating the hotel for several years they decided to move their family back to Southwestern Utah to enjoy the small-town farming and ranching lifestyle they had grown up with.

In 1955 the family opened the Wittwer Motor Lodge in the heart of St. George, Utah with 27 deluxe rooms and ahead-of-their-time guest amenities including a heated pool, refrigeration cooling in the rooms, steam heat with thermostatic control, a children’s playground, music and telephones. Staying ahead of our guests’ expectations was always essential to the family and is an important part of our success today. The Wittwer Motor Lodge, now the Best Western Travel Inn, is still a proud member of our hospitality family and recently celebrated its 60th anniversary.

The Best Western Coral Hills was next opened in 1968, showcasing luxurious rooms and a beautiful outdoor pool complete with a children pool, diving board and slide. Additional rooms were added along with an indoor pool and spa making the Coral Hills the largest and finest hotel in Downtown St. George.

In 1993 the Abbey Inn Cedar City opened, taking its name from the Abbeys of England and tying it into the world famous Utah Shakespeare Festival.

The Best Western Plus Abbey Inn was added in St. George and finished completion in 1996. Twenty-four elegant suites and a 3,000 square foot conference room were added to the Abbey Inn in 2005 becoming a highly sought after event and convention venue boasting award winning in-house catering and banquets.

During these years Lester and Vanola taught their five children how to serve guests and operate a hotel at an early age. Their four sons Royden, Tony, Mel and Sheldon dedicated themselves to the small family business and helped it grow with additional hotels, a furniture store company in 1974 (Boulevard Home Furnishings) and other business ventures. The four brothers are still involved today and have mentored their children and professional team to continue providing a lasting home away from home experience to each of their guests.

Today, Wittwer Hospitality continues to grow and develop hotels under its own ownership and also delivers management services to other hotel owners. Their experienced and dedicated team provides a measureable, service oriented, long term approach that recognizes the unique strengths and opportunities every hotel and market has to offer.