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The World’s First Motel Built in San Luis Obispo, California

Getty Images, photo by David McNew

The world’s first motel celebrated their 88th anniversary on December 12th. The motel was built in 1925 when driving a car to get to your destination or vacation was becoming popular. Before the ‘motel’, people had to stay at more traditional hotels or camp out.

Architect Arthur Heinemen coined the phrase ‘motel’ by combining motor and hotel. The first motel was built half way between San Francisco and Los Angeles in San Luis Obispo, California. The plaque on the building reads ‘Motor Inn’. It was a place to stop for comfort and convenience at only $1.25 a night.

For that price you would stay in a two-room bungalow with a kitchen and garage. There was a swimming pool and picnic area for guests as well. The cost to build the first motel in 1925 was $80,000.

Beachcalifornia.com

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