Motels Are Making a Comeback During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Motels may seem like relics of a bygone era, but in 2020, they are making a major comeback. “This is the summer of the great American road trip,” CBS travel editor Peter Greenberg told Inside Edition.

Greenberg said fear of COVID-19 has people giving the classic motel a second look.

“It’s perceived as a safer option, because people are more in control of their environment,” Greenberg said. “Plus, many of the motels offer their own little kitchenettes, so you’re self-contained in that area, too. You just go out and get your groceries, come in and stay at home.” 

At many motels, after checking in, you can walk directly from your car to your room. There are usually no crowded elevators to deal with, passing other people in the lobby or narrow hallows. 

“I prefer this over a hotel, I can just walk straight to my room,” said one man staying at the Sea Blue Hotel in Santa Monica, California, with his family. “Everything’s clean, I’m not touching a lot of things.”

Greenberg said many major hotel chains are increasing hygiene protocols, “but for the moment, motels are sort of like the flavor du jour.” 

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