The delightful Wagon Wheel Motel is situated on the outskirts of the small town of Cuba, Missouri on historic Route 66. With cozy cabins lining the property and classic neon signs near the entrance, The Wagon Wheel Motel has a fabulous old-school Americana vibe. And rightly so, as it’s the longest continuously running motel on the route, according to owner Connie Echols. The small property has stood the test of time impressively, changing hands five times since its opening in 1941.
When asked how she came to own the motel, Echols laughs, saying “I think it was the old-age crazies…I came down here to be nosy. The guy said make me an offer and I didn’t think he’d take. And he did.”
Although the purchase may seem spontaneous, updating and operating the Wagon Wheel has been a very deliberate process.
“We worked on it five years straight on the restorations,” said Echols. “We had to gut it all the way to the stone.”
Despite this massive renovation project, Echols says meeting all the guests makes all the hard work worth it
“We meet people from everywhere who are so appreciative of the property. They don’t realize that if a doorknob comes off its not that big of a deal,” she says laughing. “We can fix it.”
Echols’ dedication to the property is evident both through her description of the renovation process and in the small, homey touches in each room, such as the Route 66 themed decor and vintage furniture. These touches make each guests’ stay a unique and memorable experience.
With a storied past and a distinct vibe, The Wagon Wheel Motel truly is a unique piece of Americana. In the words of Echols: “It’s just a piece of history that’s always going to be here… for my kids, my grandkids, or whoever the next owner is.”
Originally posted on In Search of Americana