Opened in 1957 in Baker, CA, Arne’s Royal Hawaiian Motel had a great run until economic hardship following the Great Recession finally closed it down for good in 2009.
Before shuttering its doors, this Polynesian oasis was one of the only lodging options available to travelers in Baker, CA.
Located just off of Interstate 15, about 100 miles southwest of Las Vegas, Baker is mainly just a pit stop. It is the last town for those traveling north to Death Valley National Park or south to the Mojave National Preserve. If you’re craving some alien jerky, running low on fuel or just need to piss, Baker’s your place.
Founded in 1908 as a station on the Tonopah and Tidewater Railroad, Baker didn’t really take off until the 1930s, when it was developed as a watering hole for construction crews on their way to build Hoover Dam.
It must’ve been a really cool place to stay when it first opened back in 1957 but as the Interstate expanded and the lodging options in Vegas became more extravagant, the town of Baker and most of its businesses began to close down, no longer able to attract the hordes of passing motorists it once did.
Most of the guests that shelled out $50-$60 to stay at the motel before it finally shut down in 2009, reported nightmare conditions. “It looked very Bates Motel and the small window in the bathroom had no glass or even curtains, it was just an open hole to the outside” reported one Yelp reviewer. Another one wrote, “This place is neither Royal nor Hawaiian. I am giving it 1 star because there is not a lower option here. AVOID AT ALL COSTS!” Ouch.
Seven years have passed since it officially closed and I was actually surprised to see it in such good condition. Sure, there’s been lots of vandalism over the years but its still got good bones.
The curved wood ceiling in the main building that once housed the office lobby is still in pretty decent shape…
…and the Two Palm Suite (my name not theirs) also didn’t look to shabby if you were willing to overlook the peeling faux wood paneling and stained brown carpet.
The pool out back where another wing of the motel is located sure looked refreshing…
…but I didn’t have time to explore the property any further since I had a full day of exploration ahead of me in nearby Death Valley National Park.
Believe it or not, this little slice of Polynesian paradise was recently being offered for the incredible low price of $450,000.
Per the listing: The compound consists of 43-motel rooms, swimming pool, a 3,200 sq. ft. garage with office, a 3-bedroom, 2-bath manager’s residence, recreation room with pool tables, two laundry rooms and a single mobile home space. Active motel from 1957 to 2009. Needs extensive renovation – perfect site for franshise food restarurant/motel. Visable along I-15, an hour south of Las Vegas near Dumont Dunes, with 30 – 50,000 cars passing daily. Easy Interstate exit/entrance. Two lots – APN 0544-452-02 (1.22 acres) and 0544-281-14 (3.45 acres).
So who wants to go in with me and buy a Polynesian motel? All offers will be considered. Aloha:)