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Moving day for tenants at Joplin's Capri Motel on Route 66 - KOAM TV 7

Moving day for tenants at Joplin's Capri Motel on Route 66

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The Capri Motel has a 60 year history in Joplin and after being sold, it is now closing its doors.

Developers purchased the property in September and Wednesday was moving day for tenants of the Capri.

The motel was built in 1952 has defied its label, being a longtime home to many who rented there.  About 75% of its 75 rooms were regular tenants but it was often filled with nightly or weekly rentals.  Tenants say rooms were efficient and a good value at $600 a month including utilities, cable and WiFi.

Some of the tenants say they are still scrambling for a new place to live.  The former owner, Terri Selsor, says she worries about those who don't have a place to go and says selling the motel is the end of a dream.

"It's something we just couldn't preserve for Joplin," says Selsor.  "We tried but just couldn't overcome the reputation of the motel and financial hardship.  After the tornado I screwed up and housed a lot of people for free - took a toll on all of us - this is even worse though.  Kind of regretting selling it but it's done and we're going to be happy.  I'm hoping everybody else will be too."

The Capri Motel sign has become an icon itself for Joplin and is said to be in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest porcelain neon sign.

Selsor says she is donating it to a Route 66 sign preservation group.

Over the past four years Selsor says they turned the Capri into what she calls "the little community that Joplin forgot".

All the tenants say they'll miss knowing their neighbors who often shared pot luck dinners.

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