Flashback-ElDonMotelThe hospitality industry has certainly evolved since the El Don Motel stood adjacent to Dave Griggs’ Flooring America on Business Loop 70. At one time, Old Highway 40 was full of motels – the Show-Me, Travelier and the Arrow Head, to name just a few. With the growth of Interstate 70, Business Loop became less of a haven for weary travelers, and the hotels and motels relocated to align the interstate.

Originally called “tourist courts,” motels were a popular form of lodging in the 1940s and 1950s. According to Paste Magazine, the first motel opened in 1925, and with the changing automobile landscape, motels grew in popularity after World War II. In 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower passed the Federal-Aid Highway Act, establishing an interstate highway system in the U.S. with more than 40,000 miles of highway, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. The growth of the interstate highway system led to visitors bypassing locally owned roadside motels. Those properties gave way to corporate three- and four-story hotels. The El Don was owned by Mr. and Mrs. Clark L. Jackson.

Today, Car Title Loans sits in its place at 903 Business Loop 70, to the east of Dave Griggs’ Flooring America.

A post card of the El Don Motel for sale on eBay boasts air conditioning, room telephones, free TV and radios, controlled heat, morning coffee, available baby cribs and a location near the business district. The El Don was part of the Best Western Motels group, according to BestWestern.com, which began as “an informal link between properties with each hotel recommending other lodging establishments to travelers. The ‘referral system’ consists of phone calls from one desk operator to another.”

Recent News

Women Entrepreneurs: Creating the Brand

This post is the third in a four-part series about creating a new entrepreneurship program, the Missouri Women’s Business Center, while simultaneously helping entrepreneurs...

Finding Your Civic Voice on Predatory Lending

  Missouri has some of the laxest state regulations in the country on short-term loan companies offering quick-cash, payday, installment, or title loans —...

Vacant Lot? More Like a Park in Waiting.

  One thing we heard loud and clear at our planning open house for The Loop was the desire for more public space. I...

Press Release: The Business Times Company Leadership Changes

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   COLUMBIA — The Business Times Company is proud to welcome Breck Dumas as the new editor of its flagship publication,...

A Day in the Life of Mid-Missouri Farmer Doug Nichols

This story originally appeared in print as part of “The Journey from Farm to Table”   Doug Nichols is the owner of Cloverleaf Farms....