In 1963, Walter S. Mason, Jr., opened what was first known as the Master Host Manor Hotel along Route 66 in Clinton, Oklahoma. Later, when it joined the Best Western chain of motels, its name would change to the “Best Western Trade Winds Motel”.
The mid-century modern motel featured 61 guest rooms and some of the greatest amenities of the time: a coffee shop, a dining room, a beauty parlor, a swimming pool, a tiki-inspired Tonga Club, and some rooms even featured “Sun Deck” patios. Perhaps the greatest amenity, however, was the motel’s 16-lane bowling alley.
A Suite Fit For a King
Still, even a 16-lane bowling alley wasn’t the Trade Winds Motel’s biggest claim to fame. While driving back and forth from Memphis to Las Vegas to film “Viva Las Vegas”, Elvis Presley and his entourage would often stop halfway in-between to spend the night in Room 215 of the motel. Legend has it that the King of Rock and Roll stayed at the Trade Winds four times between 1963 and 1964.
Later the Trade Winds would pay homage to the King by sealing off Room 215 and turning it into a time capsule of sorts. For years, people would stay at the motel just to get a glimpse of the king-sized bed, the black Naugahyde fainting couch with a pull-out bed, and wall to wall green pile carpeting.
Winds of Change
By 1984, Walter S. Mason, Jr., would become President of Best Western and the motel’s name would be changed once again to the “Trade Winds Inn”. Twenty years later, Mason would sell the motel and donated the land across the street to the Oklahoma Route 66 Museum.
By 2021, the motel was dated and internet ratings hovered around 1.5 or 2 out of 5 stars. As a result, was put up for sale in October 2022 after being closed for quite some time before. Rumor had it that the Clinton Board of Education was interested in buying it.
On Saturday, January 7, 2023 – the day before Elvis’s birthday – the website Route 66 News reported that the Clinton Board of Education did, indeed agree to buy the property for no more than $300,000. Sadly, they plan to demolish the motel to make room for storage of items during a multi-year capital improvement plan. What’s more, they also plan to use it as a parking lot, as well.
The website also reports that the sale is expected to be complete by June 2023. In the meantime, if you’re in the area, drive by and check out this piece of roadside America before it’s gone forever. Okay, so you won’t be able to check out Room 215 anymore, but you might still be able to take a selfie and let your social media friends know in the caption “Elvis slept here.”
Whether it’s a road trip following in the footsteps (or tire tread) of the King of Rock and Roll or you’re just headed to Vegas for the weekend, don’t forget to take some Stuckey’s along for the ride. After all, is it really a road trip without our famous Stuckey’s Pecan Log Rolls or classic pecan pralines?
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Stuckey’s – We’re Making Road Trips Fun Again.
Whether your next road trip is by car or by rail, it’s not really a road trip without taking Stuckey’s along. From our world famous Stuckey’s Pecan Log Rolls to our mouthwatering Hunkey Dorey, Stuckey’s has all the road trips snacks you’ll need to get you where you’re going.
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Stuckey’s – We’re Making Road Trips Fun Again!