In the age of burnout, when people are looking for the nearest exit from the daily grind, perhaps it’s time to buy a vintage motel.
The Lincoln Motor Court, a U-shaped motel consisting of 12 small cabins and an owner’s cabin in Manns Choice, Bedford County, was once among dozens on Pennsylvania’s Lincoln Highway, which runs east to west across the state, then onward across the country. The highway, which spans 3,000 miles, was dedicated in 1913 and the Lincoln Motor Court opened in 1940, just in time for a post-WWII automobile and travel boom.
Today, it’s said to be the last “motor court” left on the entire highway, which ends in California.
“This place is pure Americana,” said owner Robert Altizer.
Altizer purchased the Lincoln Motor Court nearly 40 years ago after tiring of city life in Washington, D.C., where he worked as a bartender. At first, he thought he’d simply bought an old motel.
“It was about me trying to get out of D.C. and not have a boss,” he said Wednesday. “When we first bought the place, there were so many of them around.”
Altizer said he quickly learned that the Lincoln’s vintage charms eventually became its biggest attribute and he believes that’s a trend that isn’t going away. Looking to retire to Virginia, Altizer has listed the property for sale for $224,900.
“It’s a turnkey operation,” said Sean Bardell, the listing agent. “It’s the last original motor court along the Lincoln Highway in the United States.”
Prior to the 1940s, before the advent of Howard Johnson motels, U.S. travelers had limited options to rest their heads on road trips, aside from camping.
“Motels where you park in front of your own little room are rare,” Altizer said.
Altizer said the entire stay, which costs approximately $90 per night, is a “1940s experience,” aside from the basic televisions, a “21st century” accommodation he capitulated to.
“I’m really glad I didn’t have a lot of money to change things when I first got it,” he said.
The Lincoln Motor Court, about 200 miles west of Philadelphia, is often booked by groups and car clubs, Altizer said. The motor court was voted No. 2 in a USA Today list of America’s best roadside motels.