We had no idea!

By Meghan Overdeep
March 15, 2019
Motel 6

For generations, American travelers have associated Motel 6 with affordable hospitality. But even though its blue and red signs have been synonymous with road trips for nearly 60 years, few people know the story of how the chain of budget motels got its unique name.

It begins in 1960, when contractors Paul A. Greene and William W. Becker began fleshing out their plans to open a chain of low-cost motels. According to Funding Universe, the duo originally decided to charge $4 per night. After concluding that that price was too low, however, they bumped it up to $5, and then later settled on $6 as the ideal rate. At the time, $6 per night was still low enough to attract guests while still covering costs. In 1962, when their first motel opened in Santa Barbara, California, the name Motel 6 told customers everything they needed to know about the no-frills establishment.

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Today, Motel 6 has 1,400 locations across the United States and Canada. Though it has retained its name, its eponymous flat rate has long since been abandoned. According to the Motel 6 website, prices vary from $39.99 in Waycross, Georgia, to $149.49 near Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey.