SLO Planning Commission endorses revival of world’s first motel

July 17, 2023

Motel Inn


The San Luis Obispo Planning Commission last week approved the design of a revival of the world’s first motel, located on Monterey Street near Highway 101. [KSBY]

Motel Inn, originally known as the Milestone Mo-Tel, was built in 1925. The owners of the Apple Farm Inn, which is located adjacent to the remains of Motel Inn, have been attempting to redevelop the property since 2016. 

The developers plan to preserve the remains of the historic Motel Inn while also building around original parts of the motel. Plans for the new Motel Inn call for 83 guest rooms and 29 Mission Revival-style bungalows.

Additionally, the project consists of a courtyard, restaurant, pool and a 12-foot sound wall along Highway 101.

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This has been a sad transition full of plans, more plans until someone was found to fund something. Years of nothing is perfectly legal as are entitlements, old or new, for profit.

Trying since 2016 that’s part of the reason people are leaving because of the high cost and time it takes to build anything here

NIMBY are a problem in this town.

Call me skeptical, but will the Inn be rebuilt as it was, or a “modern interpretation” of what it should be? I understand the cottages will not be re-created exactly (and to be honest, they weren’t very accommodating), but I understand that the few rooms won’t be stacked up like regular motels, while trying to maintain the old look.

As long as the pool and patio are returned, and the great dining room is reborn with the best steaks served, and the famous bar is filled with happy travelers, locals, and the frequent Hollywood celeb, us “locals who know” will be very pleased.

Ohhhh, lots of great memories at the Motel Inn. And I gotta say that perhaps their T-bone steaks at the time were the absolute best around bar none.