No-Tell Motels

Are the innkeepers who advertise their properties as American owned patriots or philistines?

Edward Keating / New York Times / Redux

A motel in Winslow, Arizona, boasts its American owners.

When Manoj Patel's family bought the Wigwam Motel in Rialto, Calif., four years ago, the iconic Route 66 property was rundown. Its stucco teepees, built in the 1930s by Kentucky motor-inn visionary Frank Redford, had been frequented by drug addicts and prostitutes because the Wigwam's previous owners tried to reel in customers with a cheesy sign urging them to DO IT IN A TEE PEE. The Patels, who left India for the U.S. in 1980, worked hard to restore the motel to its former glory and added some modern amenities, including free wi-fi access. Says the owners' son Manoj, 27: "It...

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