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Historic Route 66 motel in Carthage is now for sale - KOAM TV 7

Historic Route 66 motel in Carthage is now for sale

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Reported June 28, 2011 at 6:15 PM CST by Zach Fletcher:  The iconic Boots Motel in Carthage, Missouri is for sale as it went into foreclosure last week.

Negotiations for restoration and modernization are already underway with the Carthage Convention and Visitors Bureau, trying to keep this piece of history alive.

The Boots Motel is located at what is called the Crossroads of America, the intersection of Route 66 and Highway 71 - the two major highways in America when the motel was established in 1939.

The Boots Motel is a piece of nostalgia and has drawn notable people, including Clark Gable, who stayed in Room 6.

"It has that 1940's, 1950's feel to it," says Wendi Douglas, the Executive Director of the Carthage Convention and Visitors Bureau.  "It was very progressive and modern at the time and it was advertised to have a radio in every room.  So just to bring back those memories I think would be a great thing."

It wasn't until recently the property became available.  Douglas says the Convention and Visitors Bureau became proactive in seeing the potential the motel could bring to Carthage.

Carthage Historic Preservation committee members are working with the bank, looking at options to purchase the historic motel, and they see a lot of possibilities for drawing visitors.

"People have discussed using it as a museum but I think, ultimately, we would love to see it as a motel again," Douglas says.

Even though the motel is closed it still draws visitors traveling along old Route 66, including four friends from Illinois making the trip to Los Angeles - fulfilling a bucket list item and celebrating their upcoming birthdays.

They say opening the motel would be great and potentially could become a hub for the route.

"I think the more first-hand you can look at things first-hand the more interesting it is," says Gayle Nafzinger.

"I think it is the history of the nation," says Jodene Scheller.

"As we travel, all the international people that we find on these routes that have come here to the USA to travel this, you know, they could travel across the United States via Route 66," says Ginger Barnes.

Recently the Boots Motel was placed on the Society for Commercial Archeology's list of 10 Most Endangered Roadside Places.

Also on the Web:

Reported June 24, 2011 at 4:21 PM CST:  A historic southwest Missouri hotel that is an icon to fans of the old Route 66 will be put up for auction.

The Boots Motel in Carthage was established in 1939 at the intersection of U.S. Highway's 66 and 71, two major highways in America at the time.

The motel is one of six properties owned by Vince Scott of Carthage that will be auctioned off on Wednesday June 29 at 2 p.m. at the Jasper County courthouse.

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