Publication honors local motel

An attention and dedication to nostalgic detail is why Tucumcari's Blue Swallow Motel was listed as a top 10 vintage motel in USA Today.

"It's very exciting, to have been selected for this list," said Kevin Mueller, owner, Blue Swallow Motel.

QCS Photo: Jerrene Bradley

The Blue Swallow Motel in Tucumcari was recently named one of the top ten vintage motels in a USA Today Article.

Mueller and his wife Nancy own and operate the Blue Swallow Motel, which was recently listed as one of 10 vintage motels in USA Today.

The article was written by Larry Bleiberg with information he compiled from Doug Kirby, publisher of RoadsideAmerica.com, a webiste that lists quirky travel sites.

"The Blue Swallow is sort of a sentimental favorite," Kirby said. "It's one of those important places along Route 66."

Kirby said the neon sign is one of the first attractions to the motel, with its bright coloring returning travelers to the days neon signs once lit the Route 66 corridor. He said the architecture and nostalgic decor of the office and rooms takes people back to the 1940s.

"The sign and architecture seem to be frozen in time," Kirby said. "It's the quintessential Route 66 Motel."

Kirby said the attention to historical detail is key and the Blue Swallow has achieved this quite well, right down to rotary telephones in the rooms.

Mueller said the motel is set up to give people a feel and glimpse of what traveling along Route 66 used to be like. He said the experience starts when the person checks in to the motel.

Mueller said they have a computer registration system, though they actually have people fill out a guest registration card and even show the guest the rooms before they pay.

"We have the latest technology, though we feel people enjoy the classic registration set up," Mueller said.

Mueller said the guest then settle in to their room, which still has original bathroom tiles, bathroom fixtures, and furniture from the 1940's.

"We want the guest to feel as if they have taken a step back in time," Mueller said.

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