A Pacific Northwest Photography Blog

Klose In Motel - Aurora Avenue North - Seattle WA

Motor hotel, or a ‘Mo-tel.’

Motels became popular as Americans ventured out

further away from home with the advent of affordable cars in the early 1900s.

‘Motels’ were called by many names, you have your cottage courts,

auto courts, motor courts, lodges, inns and cabins.

Motels, a place to stay where you could drive right up to your room

and unload your car and be home for a night.

Motels generally were located next to major highways.

where potential customers were traveling by.

Their neon signs glowed out into the night, beckoning comfort and rest.

:   :   :

Here, on Aurora Avenue North (Highway 99) in Seattle,

is the Klose-In Motel.

I loved the brightly lit neon sign and it’s retro look.

Highway 99 (prior to Interstate 5) was the main north-south highway

between the Canada and Mexico, traversing WA, OR and CA.

:   :   :

I’ve noticed in the last decade or so that many,

of the old motels are disappearing.

Unfortunately, if these old motels have survived they’ve become somewhat seedy

and not the type of place most of us would want for overnight accommodations.

Many often become havens for transient men, women and families who are down on their luck.

The Klose-In is one motel that has survived.

:   :   :

About 30 years ago, my husband and I were coming home from a driving vacation around the west,

and drove hard to reach the southeastern WA town of Clarkston.

We hit motel row, and my husband chose a rather dubious looking place.

We hit the sack.

The next morning over breakfast in a local cafe,

he told me he’d found a cockroach in the shower in the middle of the night.


:   :   :

These days it’s only Best Western for us.

:   :   :

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It’s time for you to enter your photos in ‘Weekly Top Shot – #72.’ ‘Weekly Top Shot’ is open to everyone and is not themed. Pick one of your posts that pleases you most and share it with us! The linky will open every Saturday morning around 09:00 Pacific Time and will close the next night, Sunday at 23:59.


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Weekly Top Shot

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63 Responses to No Vacancy – Weekly Top Shot #72

  • Exactly how I would expect one to look, very retro. Perfect!

  • Hi! Very interesting post. It’s very different from our country. Thank for hosting. Wishing you a wonderful weekend.

  • You’ve captured another lovely old neon sign! I like the clock in this one.
    I can remember when Hubby and I were first married we didn’t have much money so staying in better hotels and motels wasn’t always possible. We did however learn to ask to see the room first before checking in. 🙂 Nowadays we’ve pushed ourselves and driven much farther than planned to avoid the smaller places in favor of a brand name chain.

  • I love those old timey signs. They’re really fun to find on long road trips!
    Thanks for the linkup!

  • Hi Madge, Your cool photo remindes me of some good American Roas movies I’ve seen – people need a place to stay, and they stopp by this mystical motel, where fun things start happening (usually things go wrong in a very comical way)

  • Fun sign with a charming retro look.

  • I love the old neon signs and this one is a beauty! 🙂
    Take care of yourself, get plenty of rest and I hope you get to feeling better soon!

  • The evening glow of the neon colors is quite appealing. I like the way you also captured the the glow from down the street. Nicely done Madge. My thanks for hosting WTS. Happy snapping ~:)

  • Yes, delicious picture with an exquisite light, I’m in love with these delicious colors. Magnificent!

  • Really neat photo! Neon signs are so cool. I didn’t know all that about hotels. How interesting! I stayed in a pretty crummy one in Chicago once, but at least I didn’t find any cockroaches!

  • Lovely capture, Madge.
    Thank you for hosting!

  • What a fun old sign! Neon is just so happy. 🙂

  • Great photo. Neon-light is special.
    Thank you for hosting!

  • Oh dear…ick! Thank goodness I have never had that experience and hope I never do. *shiver* Love this shot. I love how the whole image is bathed in blues/cyans of the soft failing natural light.

  • Madge…I love your photos in twilight…a magical time of day!
    I remember when I was a little girl taking traveling trips with my parents we wouldn’t have reservations, instead we would stop at these small hotels, as to see the room, and then decide if it was ‘good enough’ and if it was we’d spend the night. These places were usually owned by the nicest people who took pride in their little places. On a trip out east recently, we didn’t make reservations ahead…we were free-spirited and it was fun. In an area where there were major chains we checked out a few of these small motels and were delightfully surprised. I am glad that there are a few that still exist.

  • I have to admit, I don’t stay at many hotels anymore. I have come to love B&Bs. My husband and I love the homey feel, and enjoy talking with the inn keepers. Your photo of this old motel is fantastic – I love the bright neon!

  • Great shot of part of America that is becoming extinct ~ ^_^

  • The colors are so vibrant! The new hotels/motels just don’t have that bit of character today 🙂

  • Love the creative name of the Motel…Klose In…That tells a lot about the owners♫ Thanks for hosting this blog hop♥

  • You’re taking me back with these signs and lights.

  • I can’t help but think of the Bates Motel when I see this sign! LOL! These neon signs are awesome and disappearing. The only thing that gives this away as being modern is the Wi-Fi. Fantastic shot!

  • i love neon!!!!! love that shot… so much atmosphere ..

  • I love the angles and colors in the sign!

  • What a lovely fun post.
    We find quite a few insects and more than the occasional reptile in our rooms. We’re kind of accustomed to such companions…..

  • I did a series a couple months back of all the abandoned and still open motels I found along Route 66 through New Mexico and Arizona. I plan to do more of these on our upcoming trip through the Deep South in April and May. I hope to get some great shots as did you here.

  • Love neon!
    This is a great shot, Madge.

  • Wouldn’t you just love to hear some gossip from those interior walls! Since I rarely go out at night, I never get pix like this with such vivid character!…:)JP

  • Beautiful picture you show 🙂 Hanne Bente

  • There’s a motel like this one in just about every smaller town…a lot of them are shut down and decaying. Nice shot!

  • Great shot, Madge. I love neon signs!

  • This photo is fantastic!!
    I absolutely love old neon motel signs!! We took lots of photos along route 66 in Nov/Dec as we drove to Las Vegas. I will be posting them for Rurality.

  • love the color and light in this Madge!

  • Very cool photo! Cockroaches, bedbugs, and who knows what else…we are being invaded! I’ll never forget a dinner with my ex in New York. We were seated in a booth and all of a sudden he said we had to leave. Out on the street he told me there was a roach crawling across the back of my side of the booth. Double eeeeekkkkk!

  • Neon is here to stay…it’s classic, colorful and part of Americana. Thanks for showcasing it – it’s perfect!

  • these days with bed bugs making a return, i’d hesitate to stay anywhere like that. 🙂

  • I remember the days as a kid staying in motels with my parents and once with my grandma. I loved them, such an adventure because we traveled very little except going to grandma’s. Around here, most motels are permanent living quarters for some. And most are rundown even outside; I’ve no idea what they are like inside. It gives me the willies even thinking of having to reside in most.
    The motel’s sign kindles warm memories. Thanks for sharing, and thanks for hosting here!

  • Great picture as usual ~ makes me want to take a road trip.

  • Oh yes, I definitely remember those motels…when I was a kid that’s all we stayed in. Fun pics and sure hope you feel better soon.

  • Love the neon colours – in England they are usually called B&Bs but never have signs like that.

  • Great shot! Reminds me of my pre-Best Western days. Ah, the “happy valley” beds that sagged in the middle. One of my faves was in Port Angeles, one of the first times I was on the Olympic Peninsula. We’d camped our way up the coast from California and found an auto court place with teeny rooms, barely big enough for a double bed. There was a sink that had been dripping for so long that the enamel had actually eroded at the drip spot, down to the iron beneath it. At the time hot running water was a luxury, but even after camping it left a lot to be desired. The motel is still there. I should take a shot of it.

  • oh i love this sign!!! these old signs are the BEST!

  • A great shot Madge and they have WiFi … I like that.
    Thanks for your time put into maintaining “Weekly Top Shot” … it’s a terrific meme with captions covering many and varied subjects from all corners of our beautiful world.

  • Neon with 3 or more (colors) colours is a rare commodity and commands a hefty price. Well that’s what I learned from shows like Canadian and American Pickers. lol

    Great find and beautifully captured.

  • “Eeek!” is right! We stayed at a place like that in Key Largo, Florida, many years ago, and the very next day moved into a different hotel, forfeiting our paid-ahead fee for the second night in the original location.

    That’s a great-looking neon sign for the Klose-In Motel.

  • I so love this shot! It brings back so many memories of family holidays in the car staying at motels!

  • The scenery around you is so different to ours, it is like looking at a snap of another world!

  • Perfect light and colors.

  • Love your city shots! The neon light is great.

  • Fantastic shot. The colours are fabulous! We stayed in a similar looking place in Ybor City in Florida one New Years Eve many years ago. The fact that it still had vacancies on New Years Eve should have been a warning perhaps! 😀

  • Love how those old motels each have their own identity — not like the big hotel chains nowadays.

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I've been publishing 'The View From Right Here' in one form or another since 2007. I hope you find images you enjoy from my travels around Seattle, Puget Sound and the greater Pacific Northwest, giving you a glimpse of the beautiful region of the United States of America, where I have always lived.
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Madge Bloom
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