Revenue from this business was brisk until the late 1960s, at which time trading stamps began to lose popularity and the company was renamed "Carlson Companies" in 1973 as it diversified into various hospitality and travel industries. In 1962, Carlson purchased its first Radisson Hotel in Minneapolis. It then went on to purchase T.G.I. Friday's in 1975, Country Kitchen International in 1977, Comfort Suites, and started Country Inn and Suites in 1987. Carlson's economy brand, Park Inn/Suites, was launched in 1986, and a new upscale brand, Park Plaza, in 1988. In a return to its roots, the Carlson Companies started an electronic consumer incentive program named GoldPoints.com in 1996. The program is not only used at Carlson properties such as T.G.I. Friday's restaurants and Radisson Hotels & Resorts, but also at major grocery, and department stores and major online retailers.
Curt Carlson died in 1999, and the position of CEO was soon taken up by his daughter, Marilyn Carlson Nelson. Carlson Nelson planned to retire at age 65 in 2005, but was unable due to issues with her planned successor, Curt Carlson's grandson Curtis Nelson, who was fired from the company in January 2007. Nelson is currently suing the Carlson Companies, claiming a 14 percent beneficial interest; however there is conflict with Curt Carlson's final wishes, manifested in a sophisticated trust structure that impedes the company from being broken apart and sold in a family conflict.
Carlsons to weigh past, future; Marilyn Nelson's CEO moment? Carlson Companies will outdo itself with a glitzy 60th anniversary bash next month in Las Vegas.(BUSINESS)
Feb 16, 1998; There will be flakes of real gold on the dessert plates, a bevy of dancers, a former president and an appearance by the...
Rainbow set to introduce rewards card; Metro-area Rainbows and Carlson Companies will start Gold Points Plus, a program offering travel, merchandise and more.(BUSINESS)
Jan 24, 1997; Curt Carlson's dream of establishing a modern-day trading stamp business will move closer to reality Sunday as Rainbow Foods...