We've all seen them. They line the outskirts and downtown areas of almost every town with a highway. A no-tell motel. One you check in and out of in the same day, or maybe one with the roof caving in.
Here are some of my favorite abandoned or seedy motels across Texas, New Mexico and Las Vegas, Nevada that I have photographed on 35mm through my various travels. Below each photo you will find updates or booking information for each hotel featured in this blog.
To the right: The Cortez Hotel and Casino in Downtown Las Vegas. The hotel still operates and rooms can be rented.
The Las Vegas Motel in downtown Las Vegas. This view on Google Maps from April 2019 shows the building still standing but the sign no longer exists.
Motel BienVenido in Alpine, Texas. At the time of this photo, the motel was being renovated. It now operates as the OYO Hotel though it doesn't appear most of the renovations were completed.
The Boulder Courts in Pecos, Texas. Unfortunately there isn't much information about this motel online. This postcard was dated in June 1941, so it's clear the motel had been around for decades before it was finally razed.
This old motel in Lobo, Texas appears abandoned but the entire town was purchased by a group of friends from Germany. They occasionally host festivals at the site. You can read more about its history and events here.
The Wayside Motel in Hempstead, Texas. Very little information exists for this motel, but a quick look at Google Maps shows it was bulldozed sometime before April 2019.
The Cedar Hills Motel in Segovia, Texas. The sign says rooms rent for $29.95 and you can rent one at the truck stock adjacent to the motel.
The Falls Hotel in Marlin, Texas was Conrad Hilton's eight hotel. The hotel was built in 1929 and once attracted people everywhere for its mineral baths. The hotel was under construction from 2016 to 2017 to replace broken windows and other hazards. It's unclear what the building is used for today.
Sands Motel in Grants, New Mexico. This historic hotel sits right off Route 66 and has been lodging people traveling the Mother Road for decades. The motel's claim to fame is that it was a personal favorite of Elvis and wife Priscilla while on tour. The motel still operates and can be rented through Expedia for just $32 a night.
The Blue Spruce Lodge in Gallup, New Mexico. This motel also sits right off Route 66 and was built in 1949. The motel has 19 units and it's old selling points were steamed heat for winter, tiled bathrooms, wall-to-wall carpeting, and "radio clock combinations." The lodge still operates to this day.
The Golden Desert Motel is still operating and was under renovation when I visited in September 2019. I'm sure the new updates will include some modern amenities.
The Blue Swallow Motel, one of the most photographed motels, is a staple along Route 66 in Tucumcari, New Mexico. Though the hotel is a bit dated, it's very cute and feels like home.