Monday, September 6, 2021

Wanna open a motel?

Ok, so I will admit that, like many Gen Xers who are nearing that time of life when we think about Act III, when we find a new career to help us slide into retirement, many of us consider making our vacations also our lives. So, for a generation that definitely embraced travel and the expat life, the idea of running a B&B sounds intriguing. Shows like Newhart and Gilmour Girls may have something to do with it as well. I know my wife and I have wondered whether we could host guests as a way of financing our retirement, and more specifically our next home.

But what about an old motel, the kind of which dotted the highways we travelled in the sixties and early seventies?

The New York Times has an intriguing piece today about how "Upstate Motels Make a Comeback, with an Aim to Captivate." And if I could run the spot with the beautiful pool in the article, I might just go for it. Ahh, nostalgia.

“Then there’s the whole nostalgic factor,” Ms. Berger said. There’s also influence from pop culture movies and TV shows, like “Schitt’s Creek,” the award-winning sitcom with the cult following, which featured a modest motel as its signature architectural style. “Motel Makeover,” a new reality show about revamping a rundown property, is also now streaming on Netflix.

At the end of June, the Terrace Motel in Ellenville sold for $550,000 to two couples — Victoria and Anthony Nelson, ages 32 and 38, and Jemma and Mitch Allen, both 34 — who intend to revive the dated complex with a budget of $1 million to $2 million.

The motel originally had 44 rooms. It had undergone a few renovations over the decades, including a major update in 1971, but in its formative years, the mid-century-styled compound had an Olympic-size swimming pool, an on-site restaurant, and a cocktail bar called the Terrace Room, where many locals toasted their first legal tipples.

If all goes according to plan, the motel, which sits on eight acres in Ulster County, is expected to open next summer with 20 rooms, a pool club, outdoor events and possibly a spa and sauna. By 2023, they plan to add an indoor event space and restaurant.

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