Boots Motel: Route 66 icon is again open for business - KOAM TV 7

Boots Motel: Route 66 icon is again open for business


Tourists get a historic choice for a night's rest while traveling on Route 66.  Today the Boots Motel reopened its doors to travelers.

The motel was turned into a place where individual families could stay but a woman from Georgia, Deborah Harvey, bought it in 2011.

Five rooms have already been renovated and eight more units still have work to be done inside.

The finished product is nothing elaborate but there is history.

"It's the character of the room that makes it more fun," says traveler Ron Jones.

Jones is a Bartlesville, Oklahoma resident and has 109 tattoos paying tribute to the legend of Route 66.

"Since I have a sign of the motel on my stomach, I better be here," Jones told us.

The motel was built in 1939.  Back then Arthur Boots called it Boots Court.

"In the 20's and 30's when motoring became popular as a tourist activity, farmers would just build little cabins out on the farm as something to get extra money for," says Deborah Harvey.  "But then it became popular to put them in a little circle and they called them 'courts'.  And so he knew that his motoring public would recognize the word 'court', but 'motel' had just been barely coined as a word."

In the 20's and 30's, Arthur Boots advertised "a radio in every room".

"And that's what people are going to have," says Harvey.  "They are going to have WiFi, because you can't see it.  It doesn't impact the historic appearance."

Actor Clark Gable stayed here after World War II.

Televisions weren't available in Carthage until 1953.

"This is one of the more iconic places of Route 66, in Missouri or anywhere on the route," says Jones.

"Tourism brings a lot to the community," says Mark Elliff of the Carthage Chamber of Commerce.  " In essence, we have a motel tax that goes to promote the community of Carthage.  This year we are expecting that to generate revenue of over $130,000."

As city officials hope another Route 66 icon brings more tourists the motel's owner hopes visitors get a "kick" of the past.

"I want them to be comfortable and happy and we are going to think of some fun things to do, but they just get an idea of what it was like to be a traveler in the 40's," says Harvey.

We're told many Four State residents are making reservations for this year's Maple Leaf Festival in October.

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