Do you remember driving Route 66?
Wish you did?
While some of the Mom and Pop motels are still in operation, many are not.
Wish you could have stayed in some of the amazing motels along the way?
How about this one, featured on Historic Highways?
Or, maybe this one?
The Motel Safari in Tucamari, New Mexico?
I guess it's just too late for me to stay at the Safari, eh?
Or, is it?
Actually, the Motel Safari was recently purchased by company called, yep, you guessed it, Smalltown America. And, it is set to open February 18, 2008. The company aims to restore vintage Route 66 motels.
They appear to be striking for the middle ground - between offering what the modern tourist wants with the quaintness of long ago. Richard Talley, President of Smalltown America, explains, "For instance, Motel Safari will have 32-inch flat panel LCD TVs, high-speed Internet, Sealy Posturepedic pillow-top mattresses, and the works. But the desk furniture, the chairs, the vanities, will be the same. Everything that we can keep, we do."
You can read the full article about Smalltown America at Route 66 News - a website I read often and heartily recommend.
I give kudos to Smalltown America for trying to breathe new life into shells of the past. And, I sincerely hope they allow each motel to retains its own unique character. For me, that's the draw to old Mom and Pop's. And, I hope they keep old signage - especially neon - where feasible.
But, I have to admit.
I don't need a flat panel tv.
Or, high-speed internet.
Those items would feel so...out of place to me.
OK, the internet connection would be cool ;)
I can get past that one.
Well, good luck to you Smalltown America!
Hey, if anyone stays in the Safari, let me know what you think.
Send me a picture, and I'll post it here.