The ‘saving’ of the Boots Motel…
This HAS to be one of the most important stories of the year. This is an iconic motel – which was on the auction block – and was saved by two sisters on a mission. The following is the original story:
In 2006, two sisters, Deborah Harvey from Decatur, Ga. and Pricilla Bledsaw from Decatur, Ill. Took a vehicle tour of Route 66 in 2006 and decided it would be neat one day to own an old motel on the Mother Road.
Well that someday is today and that motel is the historic Boots Motel in Carthage.
Harvey and Bledsaw made the announcement in an email released by Carthage Realtor Jim Hunter, who had been marketing the property for the Hometown Bank since that bank foreclosed on it in June.
“After cruising Route 66 from Chicago to Los Angeles in 2006, they began talking about buying a motel on Route 66 to operate when they retire,” the release said. Although not ready to retire yet, Pricilla and Deborah felt that the Boots Motel was too good an opportunity to miss. They plan to restore the Boots Court buildings to their late 1940s appearance.
Bledsaw has retail experience and formerly owned a jewelry store in Decatur, Ill., where she lives.
Harvey lives in Decatur, Ga., and is the sole proprietor of a consulting firm offering expertise in historic preservation and historic research.
Hunter said Harvey has prepared a feasibility study for herself and her sister to determine whether the Boots can be profitable and viable as a historic motel.
“I feel fortunate to have found two ladies who recognize the opportunity that exists in the purchase and restoration of the Boot’s Motel,” Hunter said.
The pending sale should transact this month. The property was marketed locally and nationally via the many Websites that promote Route 66.
“The buyer’s plans to turn Boot’s Motel into a viable tourist attraction/motel will help the city of Carthage in attracting the many tourists that travel Route 66 and seek out these historic structures. It will become a great addition to the area in terms of economic development. I applaud them in being willing to put the capital up to improve our community.”
Lonnie Heckmaster, president of Hometown Bank, said the new owners have good ideas that will be good for Carthage.
“I’m just glad to see it go to individuals that will keep it as the Boots Motel,” Heckmaster said. “We wanted it to continue to draw folks to Carthage and I’m sure glad to see someone come in to further that cause.”