The Town and Country Resort & Convention Center opened in 1953 as a 46 room motor inn beside a two-lane ribbon of road running through Mission Valley. Built on the edge of the valley created by the San Diego River, the hotel was then situated amidst open farmland, pastures and a horse ranch.
At the time, founder/developer Charles M. Brown – a pioneering San Diego developer and patriarch of the family who owned and operated the hotel for over 60 years – had the vision to predict San Diego would evolve into a world famous destination.
While Brown expanded his hotel holdings, the Town and Country was the company’s flagship – a San Diego landmark for visitors and locals alike. Recognized as a leader in the development of the modern motor hotel, Brown introduced many industry firsts at the Town and Country, among them: the first in-room coffee dispensers, free daily newspapers, in-room televisions and free outside dialing for guests’ local telephone calls. Additionally, Town and Country dining venues were the first San Diego restaurants to be air-conditioned.
Throughout the 1950s and early ‘60s, Brown continued to expand the Town and Country, adding low-rise, bungalow style hotel rooms, swimming pools, tennis courts and a private club for locals. In 1970, under the leadership of Charles’ son, C. Terry Brown, the Town and Country opened San Diego’s first Convention Center along with a 10 story high-rise tower of 325 additional guest rooms. The new facility included a state-of-the-art bakery and a modern meat-cutting department. In 1972, the adjacent Le Baron Hotel was purchased, bringing the total number of rooms to nearly 1,000.