Boots Motel reopens

The historic Boots Motel of Carthage, Mo., reopened Tuesday to overnight guests after a decade-long hiatus. A few reports and videos have popped up, but this one by KOAM-TV in nearby Pittsburg, Kan., is the best so far:

UPDATE: KY3 News also posted a story and video about the reopening.

3 thoughts on “Boots Motel reopens

  1. CONGRATULATIONS!!! It’s been a long time coming, and worth every bit the wait, the crown jewel of Carthage is finally open once again. Our motels all across the route, are finally seeing a resurgeance worthy of the modern day Mother Road. Let’s keep it going, who’s next? Soon everyone will be able to make a 1/2 day drive all the way across the route, and get to stay at another treasure each day, independent and uniquely different, yet safe and reliable once again for all to enjoy a totally new experience…

  2. That is great!! What an iconic place. It would have been a shame to see a Walgreens sitting there.

  3. KYTV said “The Boots, named for its builder, not cowboy wear, enjoyed a heyday until Interstate 44 came through Joplin. Then it declined into flophouse apartments. Last year, two shy sisters decided they could revive the crumbling stopover before a major drug store chain had other plans for the property.”

    This is a bit of oversimplification… I-44 was only the beginning of the decline of the Boots Motel. The death of Rachel Asplin (1900-1991), who owned the place since 1948, was a key factor and the years of wilful neglect after Vince Scott purchased the place as part of a failed attempt to ‘flip’ the land to Walgreens for an inflated price in 2003 were ultimately what landed the Boots firmly on the “endangered” list. Boots Court was always open to Route 66 travellers as a motel before 2003, but after that it was first closed entirely, then run as a flophouse for weekly or monthly tenants.

    The newspaper quote in Wikipedia’s recently-created [[Boots Motel]] article is telling: “It’s in rough shape. They’ve torn it up. I’ve been renting it out as lower rent housing for five years, and these people have no money, so they’ve stolen everything they could steal. It would take some money to restore it. It’s got a new roof; I put a new roof on the front, but someone would have to rewire it and replace a lot of things. It could be brought back, though, if a person had the interest.”
    —Vince Scott, Boots Motel owner in May 2011

    He said that while he was still trying to sell the place for a couple hundred grand – and this after (pretty much by his own admission) running it into the ground as a flophouse. It’s almost tempting to cheer on the local bank for foreclosing on someone like this at that ultimately proved to be the only way to save the place.

    The local paper’s reporter (Carthage Press) has done a huge job of keeping the Boots question in the spotlight at many key junctures, including the 2011 foreclosure and the 2003 effort which made Walgreens realise it’d be far less expensive to buy vacant land a little further south and build there. If it weren’t for their efforts and the efforts of longtime Route 66’ers, the entry for [[Boots Motel]] could well have remained “#REDIRECT [[Shrek (franchise)#Scared Shrekless]]” and nothing more.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.