PSA Hotels And ValCar
During the late 1960s, PSA management started reviewing how many reservation calls were being transferred to outside partners for car reservations. PSA felt that they could tap into this market themselves, if they could offer a modern, inexpensive car and moderately-priced hotel room. The first acquisition to serve this program (Fly-Drive-Sleep) was ValCar, which was originally started by Hertz in 1964 and bought by PSA in 1968.
ValCar grew under PSA's ownership to serve all of PSA's then cities, along with Orange County, Palm Springs, Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, and Reno. While PSA would offer assistance with other companies, the goal was to make a ValCar rental as easy as possible for PSA passengers, with creation of the Instant Rental for PSA Credit Card holders and arranging of rental cars while in flight.
In 1969, PSA bought the Islandia hotel in San Diego as well as the leasehold on the San Franciscan Hotel in San Francisco. Plans were immediately set in place to expand the Islandia, and renovate the turn of the century era San Franciscan, located in the Civic Center area of San Francisco. PSA stewardesses would model at the Islandia, located close to Lindbergh field and PSA headquarters. Bob Crandall was put in place to oversee the subsidiaries.
ValCar was never profitable, and dismantled in 1971. An agreement was signed with Hertz to serve PSA passengers, along with the instant rental concept.
PSA Hotels added the Queen Mary Hotel in Long Beach, and the brand new Hollywood Park Hotel near LAX in 1971.
The hotel subsidiaries never made money, and management of the Hollywood Park, Islandia, and Queen Mary was turned over to Hyatt under a contract in 1974, with the San Franciscan remaining the only PSA Hotel. The Hollywood Park Hotel (renamed the Airport Hyatt House) lease was terminated in 1975, and the Islandia sold the same year. The lease on the San Franciscan was terminated in March 1979, and the lease on the Queen Mary terminated in 1980.
Today, the Islandia is the Hyatt Regency Mission Bay. The Queen Mary is still a hotel under it's own name, and the San Franciscan is the Hotel Whitcomb. The Hollywood Park hotel was demolished.