Route 66 News

Wagon Wheel Motel reopens to travelers

A Jacuzzi tub in one of the Wagon Wheel Motel's renovated rooms. (Photo by Jane Reed)

The Wagon Wheel Motel in Cuba, Mo., will partially reopen to travelers this weekend, then will have a full opening the following weekend, according to its owner.

This comes after months of renovations on the historic Route 66 property.

Owner Connie Echols, who bought the motel in fall 2009, said three rooms will be available for overnight guests beginning this weekend, and all 12 units will be available by the June 11 weekend.

The long-closed restaurant building was renovated and reopened as a gift shop just weeks later.

The Wagon Wheel Motel opened on Route 66 in 1934 and remained in continuous operation until longtime owners Harold and Pauline Armstrong died a few years ago. The property earned fame for its individual stone cabins and its unbelievably economical $17-a-night room rates ($19 a night for doubles).

The Wagon Wheel Motel also served as a likely partial inspiration for the defunct Wheel Well Motel shown in the mountains near the tiny Route 66 town of Radiator Springs in the 2006 hit animated film by Disney-Pixar, “Cars.”

According to a news release about the Wagon Wheel:

The Ozark sandstone Tudor-style rooms have been gutted, updated, and restored until they are better than ever. New plumbing, heating and cooling systems, bathrooms, and bedding are just some of the upgrades in the historic motel. Flat screen TVs have been added to the rooms, and WiFi is free throughout the property. […]

Echols has added a deck behind Connie‚Äôs Shoppe and the old station building for guests to use while they are staying at the Wagon Wheel. […]

Another of the updates includes the Jacuzzi room with both a Jacuzzi tub and a shower. Another unit is a suite with a kitchenette and two Queen beds. The motel will also rent single and double rooms. Rates will run from $50-$100, depending on room size and amenities.

Reservations can be made by calling 573-885-3411. The Facebook page for the motel and gift shop is here.

(Photo of Wagon Wheel Motel courtesy of Guy Randall.)