Saturday, June 14, 2014

The Clown Motel


You may recall that I blogged the other day about how clowns creep me out – an observation prompted by the presence of the Ringling Bros. circus in town this weekend.

Coincidentally, blogger and Facebook friend Laura Ledford posted this photo yesterday afternoon. Curious about where it is, I Googled it and was surprised to see it’s on the main highway that runs through Tonopah, Nev.

I’ve ridden through Tonopah at least twice and never noticed it. How the hell could I miss something this bizarre. reviewers give it 3½ stars out of 5, which is also astonishing, considering the photos of dumpy rooms and decaying facilities.

Collette from Northfield, Calif., wrote:

It's not overly fancy but the rooms are large and very clean. The place was packed but it was still surprisingly quiet. The owners were friendly and helpful with any questions that we had about the area. They directed us to a historic cemetery right off their property that was fascinating. Check out wasn't until 11 which allowed a bit of extra time too. As a bonus, our kids thought it was cool that we got an actual room key instead of a card. They haven't experienced that novelty too often.

Joe B. from Florence, Ariz. wrote:

If you stay here and don't like it you must make a lot of bad choices. The sign out front says "Clown Motel, $35 per night, motorcycles welcome". The construction workers trucks are already there by 4 PM. How much more warning would you need?
We found the rooms clean and the place was quiet. The staff was a hoot. If you are afraid of clowns you'll find yourself out cold lying on the floor of the office. My wife still chides me because I checked in and did not notice hundreds of clown items.
If you decide to stay elsewhere at least pop your head in the door, say hello, so you can look around at the clown collection. There is a small price to pay for that as, although most rooms are non smoking, the office reeks of it.
Redneck adventure at its best!

Room Tip: Sleep tight, don't worry, your car will still be there in the morning.

Mark A. from England said:

Clowns on each door and hundreds of them in the office. I guess some would say that there are some in the guest rooms too.
Very cheap and therefore just what I needed at the time.
Yes there were quite a lot of energy workers staying here at close to the time of the previous review, but they didn't bother me and i was up at the same time as them anyway.

Room Tip: I was downstairs and the guy in the room above me walked around a lot - and the floor creaked a lot...

Mark from Schaumburg, Ill. wrote:

I've stayed at the Clown many times from the early 90s to just a few months ago. The rooms have always been clean, a great value and a great view. And management and the help have been the greatest.
Unfortunately, now they are taking in the workers at the energy plants outside of town. Such obnoxious folks and I don't need to hear them yell all over the motel after hours. And they threatened to punch me out when I told them to quiet down at midnight. Management's answer is to shift me to another room. Well, I'm going to Tonopah Motel or someplace else when I'm in town. I really regret this as I miss the Clown as it used to be.

Some guy from Seattle said:

Just passing through and needed a bed and a shower. Smelly A/C, found the linens scary and smelly had to sleep on top of the bed with my own spare blanket. Don't stay here.

Tom B. from Laverne, Calif. wrote:

On a recent trip to Carson City my wife and I had a night in Tonopah and after looking at the reviews decided to use the Clown. BAD CHOICE, not eclectic-rundown, dirty and shopworn. Let me illuminate. Dirty bedspreads, 2 chairs in the room both unusable-broken legs, blankets had burn holes, carpet badly stained, refrigerator propped up with a bar of soap, night stand ripped off the wall between the beds and even the Gideon Society didn't leave a bible. Walked out, ate the $43 and got a room at the Mizpah.

I’ve sheltered in some dumps over the the years. The Empire Motel in St. Francis, Kans., comes to mind. If I’m ever in Tonopah again, I might take a chance on the Clown just for the experience.

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