In 1919, Conrad Hilton when to Cisco Texas to buy a bank and ended up buying a little hotel named the Mobley hotel. He became a hotel man that day and went on to build one of the greatest hotel companies in the world.
What most people don’t know is that after Conrad bought that first little hotel in Cisco Texas, he began to build major high-rise Hiltons (one per year) all over Texas. By 1929 he owned around nine-ten major hotels when the stock market crashed in 1929. He ended up losing all the hotels to his lenders except for the newest Hilton hotel in El Paso Texas which opened in 1930. It took years after the great depression for banks to lend again but once they did, Conrad Hilton began to build back the company he lost by buying distressed hotels in California and New York and became the Hilton Hotel Company we know today.
During the great depression, 80 percent of all US hotels went bankrupt but somehow Conrad kept believing in the US economy and was determined to build a hotel company. He lost it all yet retained the will, perseverance and the drive to start over.
Looking at history, it is always easy to read stories like this and discount them because we weren’t there. We know how the story ends and it somehow lessens the impact and we don’t quite grasp the grit it took for many Americans to get through the great depression. We can’t relate to what it was like halfway through the depression when it seemed like everything was lost and no one had any answers.
Those people in the 1930’s did what many people today are doing, just move forward and keep trying. If you do that you will break through. History is full of great success stories and I have no doubt that 100 years from now, students will be leaning about the year 2020 and the struggles, failures, and successes. In 2120 if a blog is still a thing, someone will probably write a story about how we came through the pandemic of 2020. KT