The Washington Post did a story about a motel in the Orlando area, the Star motel. I am well acquainted with this establishment from my days as a paramedic. The motels in that particular area, including the Star motel, are well known to local emergency workers. They have not been motels for tourists in decades. Instead, they are inhabited by drug users, prostitutes, and other assorted debris from society. 

I remember finding more than one dead body in the place, often with drugs in the room, sometimes with the needle still in the arm of the corpse, and the occasional homicide. Once or twice, a meth lab. The article claims that:

In tough times, the motels degenerated into shelters of last resort in a city where low-income housing shortages were among the most severe in the nation and the social safety net was collapsing. Now they were fast becoming places where it was possible to glimpse what a complete social and economic collapse might look like in America.

This hotel was never a nice place. To the best of my knowledge, there haven’t been any tourists in this motel since before the Clinton administration. This motel’s economy collapsed decades ago. To make this sound like a recent development is fake news. 

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1 Comment

Beans · September 18, 2020 at 5:07 am

Florida is full of these motels. Often they are one street off the main drag.

The 'good' ones all turned into timeshare suckholes 30 years ago. Then the timeshare craze died, and the lesser hotels that could have bettered from it, barely, continued their decline past seedy and straight into rat-infested pest-hole.

To make matters worse, a lot of Florida cities adopted the yankee-driven 'must-take-care-of-the-homeless' and sent a lot of homeless into these pest-holes during bad weather. But only paid for the rooms, and didn't cover the damage caused by the homeless.


But… it's not only Florida. You find them everywhere. Off the main strip in Vegas. All over Los(t) Angeles. Skidrow and worse in NYC.

One of them was even featured almost on a weekly basis on the first season of "Live PD," the blue-doored Palmetto Inn in Charlotte, South Carolina (who have supposedly cleaned up the place since starring in the first season of LPD…

The slow decline, from chain-owned to franchise-owned to solely owned (yes, usually by foreigners because they can live off the meager proceeds) to abandoned. Sad, very sad.

Lots of causes, from shifting economy to shifting roads (lots of old motels from pre-interstate days survived by hanging on, only to die a slow death from poverty to a quick death from fire or natural disaster.)

The end-stage is never pretty.

But I've never heard of a hotel just abandoned to those that killed it.

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