It has been a long time coming, but it was always inevitable, particularly in a nation which seems to value “new and shiny” over just about anything else. I’m speaking of the general state of the American roadside at this date and time. Though much that we love remains, much has been lost, and continues to be bulldozed each year. Just try finding a classic old motel in your corner of the nation, or a diner, or a drive in. Most of the motels have been swept away in an almost manic building spree led by the Hiltons, Holiday Inns and Marriotts, who now manage a diverse group of properties, each aimed at a certain niche in the market. Fran and Bill’s Motel is, for the most part, a distant memory.
Was that always the way this was going to go down? I suppose so.
Many early mom and pop motels were (generally) thrown up quickly and cheaply. As American’s took to the roads, particularly after WWII, the need arose and it was filled. But it wasn’t long before the Holiday Inn, with its “great sign” began to challenge the independent operators.
So, what to do? Well, the only option is to get out there and find what’s left! There are still a lot of small businesses hanging on, but it’s always a question of just how long. When you drive by them the next time — you may see only a pile of debris. So, don’t delay. Hit the road. Today or tomorrow or this weekend, but do it! Now.