Motels are the new king of the road

The surprise star of summer vacation? Motels are back, baby.

Scratchy sheets. A lingering smell of cigarettes. The muffled moans of the couple next door.

Motels are the new king of the road

If you think that’s what motels have to offer… well, sometimes you’re right. But the road-side stay is having a renaissance.

Marriott’s become a MarriNOT

Between 1964 and 2012, the number of US motels shrank from 61k to 12k.

But then the coronavirus checked in. By May 2020, occupancy rates at luxury hotels plunged >15%. Economy class properties, which includes motels, sat pretty at ~40%.

Some are reporting week after week of no vacancies.

What in the Magic Fingers happened?

The summer of the road trip happened. If you’re not camping or living that #vanlife, motels are the easiest way to catch 40 winks and a shower.

And motel layouts are well-suited to social distancing. Most are 1- or 2-story buildings — no crowded elevators — with outdoor access to rooms. Sure, there’s no restaurant, fitness center, or spa, but stays are cheap — ~$40 to $100/night.

Not sure you’d wanna crash somewhere without a Starbucks? 

These roadhouses are worth the trip just for the joy of saying their names.

Best Western Plus Intercourse Village: Intercourse, my friends, is a village in Pennsylvania. Get your mind out of the gutter.

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