Dec. 12: World’s first motel opens on this date in 1925

Kelly O'Mara
Compass
12 December 2013

On Dec. 12, 1925 the Motel Inn (originally known as the Milestone Mo-Tel) – widely considered the first motel in the world – opened in San Luis Obispo, Calif. It charged $1.25 per night per room.

With the increase in the number and popularity of cars, travelers were starting to take trips that previously were impossible. But while most big cities already had hotels, there weren’t yet accommodations for these road travelers. Many were forced to sleep in their cars or camp overnight during multi-day trips. Arthur and Alfred Heineman proposed a chain of motor-hotels, with the first to be on the side of the highway between San Francisco and Los Angeles.

While motels are now considered cheap overnight stays, the first mo-tel, as it was called, was luxurious for the time. It was built as a number of small bungalows with private garages. The plan was that each of the motor inns would include laundry and maid service, a playground and a restaurant. The planned chain never panned out, as other businessmen jumped on the opportunity and opened their own motels – often with cheaper rates.

Today, the Motel Inn is closed and owned by the Apple Farm Inn next door. A remodel and reopening are planned, including a museum dedicated to the history that started there. In the meantime, around the world, travelers now use thousands of roadside motels for quick accommodations.

What to read next

VA Mortgage Rates In 2016

VA Rates as Low as 3.25% (3.405% APR) 30 Year Fixed. Exclusive For Veteran & Military Takes 1 Min!

Hilton HHonors™ Card

Apply Today! Earn 50,000 Hilton HHonors™ Bonus Points. Terms Apply.

The Most Inclusive Luxury Experience

Redefine your concept of cruising and discover a lifestyle of luxury aboard our all-inclusive, six-star fleet a world where everything is included.

Beauty and Convenience in Stafford

Southgate - an enclave of single-family homes, from the mid $300s, amongst rolling hills and mature trees, two miles to the VRE, I-95, Routes 1 and 17

Crazy beautiful time-lapse video

Got a few seconds to be fascinated by Mother Nature? Watch spring come to life in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Business Circle brought to you by AT&T

Where Business Owners Share Tech Answers that Matter. Visit Today and Gain Access to Tools and Advice that Help Solve Small Business Challenges.