I love neon signs! I spotted this one in 2014, when were on U.S. 40, about 15 miles from Rocky Mountain National Park.
I snapped a picture from the car window and put "Trail Riders Motel" on a list for the future!
Motel at 8,000 Feet
This winter, we started planning our June road trip to Colorado. We included a stop in Granby, just because of the motel.
I called up months before and made reservations. Mike sounded very pleasant and laid back on the phone. When we arrived and saw the NO Vacancy sign, I wished that I had asked for an email confirmation.
Mike and Max
We parked and headed toward the office in the corner. Inside, we were greeted by Mike and the sweetest dog ever.
Mike gently reprimanded Max for jumping up, but I begged for a photo. Mike did indeed have our reservations and gave us one of the original motel rooms, that I requested months earlier.
Changes Since 1950
Mike said that he and his partner bought the motel a couple years ago, from a wonderful couple who had fixed the place up in the 1990's.
Before their ownership, the parking lot had been gravel. They added the second story apartment and a new wing. Our room was in the older section, below the apartment.
Zig Zag Motel
I liked the zig zag style of the newer wing. I've seen this in a few vintage motels and I'm curious if there's a name for it.
The shutters and pine tree decor added a little homey touch. Colorado had a very long 2019 winter, so the flower boxes held melted snow instead of flowers.
Our entrance had no zig zag, but we did have chairs. If you looked over the parking lot and Highway 40... there were mountains!
Inside, our sweet motel room was filled with knotty pine! Don and I are big fans of the stuff. It must have something to do with happy childhoods, spent in 1960's family rooms.
I'm so glad that Jack and Donna Kolin remodeled carefully, when they rescued the motel nearly 30 years ago.
They updated just enough and didn't mess with the retro radiators and pine walls. They added special touches, like lace doilies under glass!
The little L-shaped room functioned very well, for travelers with lots of stuff.
There was a desk, a bench and a large counter for organizing. The closet held a fan, which I used to cool down the room... after I cranked the radiators too high.
Some Modern Conveniences
I hardly expected to have a microwave and fridge and coffee maker.
I totally expected to have a big fat TV, instead of a flat screen. I must admit, the paper towel holder was incredibly useful.
Cool Green Bathroom
Our bathroom was spotless. I was delighted with the shiny green, wall tiles and the retro linoleum floor.
The glass block window, sturdy sink and teeny tiny Dial soap were fun, fun, fun!
I happily took it all in, from the glass door knob, to the plastic info guide, mounted on the door.
"Have you left anything? Thank You. Come Again."
We were "moved in" within minutes. Motels are such a treat, when you can park at the door and your car acts as a closet.
Don and I put a few things in the room and headed off to a nearby Brewery. I made sure to admire the grounds before we crossed the street. The little cottage was really just for storage, but it made the little picnic area feel homey.
I checked out the motel decor facing the highway. The big red letters made a proud announcement, in case you missed the neon sign.
There was a day when I didn't think the word MOTEL was much to brag about. But today, a good motel is hard to come by. I'm glad this one has a spotlight!
The yellow sign reminded me of our good fortune to have run across this place! I feel lucky that we had a chance to spend a night in a charming, 1950's motel!
There are quite a few write-ups about vintage motels, scattered on this blog. Most of those motels were a little worn, or sketchy. Trail Riders Motel allowed us to step back in time, but it also felt clean, comfy and safe. Yay for motels!
My New Year's Resolution for 2014 was to start documenting some of the memorable overnights I've had in some very odd and curious motels and hotels. Like the adventures in my Dining Blog, I have learned to enjoy the surprises that happen when you step out of the comfort zone, far away from the well-known chains.
I began with a few entries recalling my very first home away from home memories from my youth. Then, I started sharing about some of the quirky and unforgettable motels, hotels and inns that my husband and I have discovered in recent years.
The best part about this challenge was making some lists with Don and getting on the road in search of new overnight adventures. I gave myself a 2-year goal to write up 90 stories and the goal was met. Now we just keep on adding!