Disciple of INDYCAR Weblog

December 16, 2008

When a Cheesy Old Motel Tugs at the Heart

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 1:15 pm

Goodbye old friend. It is ugly. It is outdated. It is falling apart. It is about 30 years out of date.  

I understand the necessity of getting rid of a decrepit old motel. But like it or not that place is tightly woven into the historic fabric of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It is a landmark. Its absence along with the one that used to be across the street leaves a scar. While I am absolutely certain IMS will build something much bigger and better, I firmly believe they need to respect history in the same way that guided the construction of the pagoda.

They can build a very nice big resort hotel and keep the ambiance. The one thing they should NOT do is go Las Vegas with their approach. While always nice, the new Vegas-style big hotels are entirely too sterile.

Most importantly, they need to save a room or two of the old place and reconstruct them in a museum setting much they did with the old garage theme in the current museum.

I will go one further…architect the replacement facility to have the same sort of architectural theme, only with all modern amenities and space.

Contacting the management out to a national brand also makes business sense and provides long term sponsorship opportunities as well.


I need to drive by there this morning and pay my respects.



  1. Ugh. I suppose that I knew deep down that the Motel could never survive in its current state (slightly run down, hopelessly out of date, basically no amenities), but this is sad news. I’ve been able to stay in the Motel several times over the last 6-7 years, and I’ve loved every minute of being there. Sure, part of it is a kitschy, nostalgic feeling for a time that I only know through “Winning” and old IMS films, but when you’re there, you really feel like you could be walking out to the track in the morning to watch Granatelli’s Whooshmobile go for the pole. I’m glad that I was able to get into the Flag Room one more time this last May for a beer after “Carb Saturday”.

    Anyway, I’ll miss the place. Hopefully, like you say, the new one will recall the old one in at least a few details. It is a sad day.

    Comment by The Speedgeek — December 16, 2008 @ 1:36 pm | Reply

  2. sad to hear. agree with your thoughts very much on that deal.

    Comment by frankie — December 16, 2008 @ 3:18 pm | Reply

  3. Defender, I couldn’t agree more. If the walls of the old Speedway Motel could talk, what tales they might tell.

    The last thing I want to see on 16th Street is some generic high rise to replace the “quaint old girl.” Let’s just hope that some highly paid architect can create something with similar ambiance.

    Comment by Skip Free — December 16, 2008 @ 7:34 pm | Reply

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