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**1. Motel Architecture and Layout:**
– Motels typically have large pools and are often located along highways.
– They have parking lots, attached manager’s office, reception, and sometimes a diner and pool.
– Motels are usually I-, L-, or U-shaped with guest rooms, and some have second-story rooms facing balconies.
– Post-war motels feature colorful neon signs with popular culture themes.
– Some motels offer larger rooms with kitchenettes or apartment-like amenities.

**2. History and Development of Motels:**
– Campgrounds for automobile tourists emerged in the late 1910s.
– Auto camps preceded motels and were primitive municipal camp sites.
– Cabin camps were developed as a step up from travel trailers for auto tourists.
– The term ‘motel’ was coined in 1926, with the industry peaking in 1964 with 61,000 properties.
– Motel Inn of San Luis Obispo originated the term ‘motel’, and the motor court concept emerged from combining cabins under one roof.

**3. Motel Room Types and Amenities:**
– Motels offer honeymoon suites, efficiencies, and unique room types catering to various guest preferences.
– Some motels have connecting door rooms, and motels in Niagara Falls offer extra amenities.
– Efficiencies in motels allow guests to prepare their own food.
– In-room gimmicks like Magic Fingers beds were popular in the 1950s and 1960s.

**4. Expansion and Marketing of Motels:**
– The 1950s and 1960s were the pinnacle of the motel industry in the U.S. and Canada.
– Motels added amenities like swimming pools and color TV to attract guests.
– Beach-front motels in cities like Jacksonville, Miami, and Ocean City were successful.
– Guidebooks and referral chains promoted independent motels, while neon signs advertised amenities and vacancies.
– Lack of national advertising for local motels was a challenge.

**5. Decline and Repurposing of Motels:**
– The motel industry had 61,000 properties in 1964 but fell to 16,000 by 2012.
– Motels surpassed hotels in consumer demand in the 1950s, leading to a massive building boom.
– Construction costs for motels were significantly lower than city hotels.
– Many motels closed or were repurposed due to declining demand.

Motel (Wikipedia)

A motel, also known as a motor hotel, motor inn or motor lodge, is a hotel designed for motorists, usually having each room entered directly from the parking area for motor vehicles rather than through a central lobby. Entering dictionaries after World War II, the word motel, coined as a portmanteau of "motor hotel", originates from the Milestone Mo-Tel of San Luis Obispo, California (now called the Motel Inn of San Luis Obispo), which was built in 1925. The term referred to a type of hotel consisting of a single building of connected rooms whose doors faced a parking lot and in some circumstances, a common area or a series of small cabins with common parking. Motels are often individually owned, though motel chains do exist.

A motel in Bjerka, Norway

As large highway systems began to be developed in the 1920s, long-distance road journeys became more common, and the need for inexpensive, easily accessible overnight accommodation sites close to the main routes led to the growth of the motel concept. Motels peaked in popularity in the 1960s with rising car travel, only to decline in response to competition from the newer chain hotels that became commonplace at highway interchanges as traffic was bypassed onto newly constructed freeways. Several historic motels are listed on the US National Register of Historic Places.

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