Scratchy sheets. A lingering smell of cigarettes. The muffled moans of the couple next door.
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.
- The Elephant Butte Inn & Spa: Yes, there’s a lot of elephant-themed décor.
- Morning Wood Hotel: It’s right next to the Happy Endings Saloon. (No, we’re not joking.)
Best Western Plus Intercourse Village: Intercourse, my friends, is a village in Pennsylvania. Get your mind out of the gutter.