I lived in a motel for eight years and my wife and I used to own dozens of rental homes, so I know something about motels, and collecting rent.
My parents bought a small motel in Ponders Corner when I was in the seventh grade at Hudtloff Junior High. I stayed there through my second year of college. I did laundry, rented rooms and normal day to day maintenance work. I also mixed sand, gravel, and cement as my dad and I built sidewalks for the expanding complex as the La Casa Motel grew from seven rooms to thirty-one. La Casa was the closest motel to Fort Lewis. We didn’t always have the “No Vacancy” sign on, but fairly often.
I complained once in a discussion with my mother, “We don’t have a home, we have a motel.” Over the years my parents bought property on the Olympic peninsula where we would get away for a day, but would always return at the end of the day to the motel. They bought a second motel in Parkland, which my grandmother ran. Once I had a drivers license I would often help her on the weekends.
In those days motels depended on the military and some travel/vacation visitors. We were lucky. Most motels struggled.
When my wife and I began buying rental properties we dealt with late rent payments and no payments especially when the interest rates reached upwards of 25%. Eventually, we sold our houses and bought a television studio. We still produce video productions. On the whole it’s a lot easier than making home repairs, cleaning, and collecting rents. Over the past ten years we have been the king and queen of staycations and local travel in the Pacific Northwest as we stayed at hotels, motels, and B&B’s. – nwadventures.us
The tourist industry has been exceedingly kind over the past decade. “Washington’s pristine beauty and diverse geography and culture are natural draws for tourists around the world. Tourism is the state’s fourth largest industry, generating $21.4 billion in annual spending and contributing $1.8 billion in state and local taxes . . . Every county in the state benefits from the tourism sector. Statewide, 182,700 workers are employed in tourism-related businesses and pursuits. Approximately two-thirds of travelers are Washington residents who want to explore the state’s many natural wonders, particularly those related to outdoor recreation.” – choosewashingtonstate.com/why-washington/our-key-sectors/tourism/
Update to 2020 and our pandemic.
In an April 21, 2020 article “Global tourism industry may shrink by more than 50% due to the pandemic” it was revealed that many businesses in the travel and tourism industry are likely to find themselves facing major problems. It’s estimated that 63.8% of travelers have canceled plans due to the pandemic. – theconversation.com/global-tourism-industry-may-shrink-by-more-than-50-due-to-the-pandemic-134306
I have been touting the work of St. Vinnie’s (St. Vincent de Paul) for some time, but their efforts of helping people has grown even more important over the last few months. Executive Director Tracy Peacock says, “We are now providing rental assistance and motel vouchers for those impacted by Covid-19.”
I see this latest move as not only helping our neighbors in need, but our business people as well. This has got to be a godsend to an industry that is taking a major hit with travel almost ceasing. There is also the problem of people not being able to pay their rent or lease payments, as well as their mortgages. Please, contact St. Vinnie’s if you need help, and visit their website if you can make an online contribution. – svdptacoma.org
William Elder says
Interesting personal history. You wuz raised in a motel, like I wuz raised in a bar. Wuz fun and instructive at the same time!
Nice appeal for St. Vinnie’s too. Go rag-pickers!
(PS: Tooter’s Damn! is out on Kindle.)
Don Doman says
Thanks for writing.
We had the best hotel “bar” none. Thanks for the kind word on St. Vinnie’s.
Good to hear about Tooter’s Damn on Kindle. Give me the details and I’ll pump it. I like the stories.