On May 19, local Motel 6 managers along with Jim Amorosia, the company’s chief operating officer, gathered to cut the ribbon at the grand reopening of the Santa Barbara Motel 6, the first-ever location which launched the chain in 1962. The event showcased the future European boutique style of Motel 6 rooms. Rooms around the country will soon be modeled in the new “Phoenix” design, which is cleaner, more comfortable, more eco-friendly, and outfitted with modern digital multimedia features.
Amorosia and Andy Polhill, Motel 6’s area manager, gave interested groups tours of the rooms to show off some of the new features. The most noticeable is the new wood-effect laminate flooring, which Amorosia says creates a much cleaner and more open feel so guests never have to wonder if the rooms are dirty. The reformulated wood floors are made from 80 percent pre-consumer recycled material to aid in the chain’s efforts to go green.
They also showed off the new 32-inch flat-screen televisions that are now in each room, along with a multimedia center to connect computers, video game consoles, and MP3 players. To top it off, they all now have Wi-Fi Internet access.
Polhill told The Independent that a common complaint from Motel 6 guests is that there is nowhere to sit, so they are forced to eat or watch television on the bed. To solve the problem, the double rooms now have a table with two chairs under the TV, while the single rooms have a settee and one more chair in front of it.
To create a more modern look, the wall behind the head of the bed is now painted either orange, blue, yellow, or green, with a matching stripe at the foot of the bed blankets. Amorosia says that the contrast of the color, the wooden floors, the coffee-colored furniture, and new black granite bathroom counters creates a strong impact on guests.
He excitedly showed off the new sinks, which are elevated above the counters to prevent splashes. Bathrooms now have French doors, which can either enlarge the room when open or be cracked a little to give light without disturbing sleepers. They have also done away with traditional towel racks, and now have a caddy with four slots to house rolled-up towels. The caddy doubles as an ambient light fixture, and Amorosia showed how the room has no direct light sources.
Women from the Santa Barbara Visitor’s Center appeared excited about the new design. They described the rooms as “beachy, and very hip,” before going outside to watch the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Afterward, guests gathered to discuss the rooms over wine and hors d’oeuvres.
Polhill explained to The Independent that the two Carpinteria locations will be the next to complete Phoenix renovations, and should be done near the end of 2009. He says that due to tough economic times, they don’t have a set time when the process will be completed across the country.
The Santa Barbara Motel 6 is located at 443 Corona del Mar.