With thousands of locations across the United States and Canada, Motel 6 is one of the largest and most recognizable economy lodging chains. But how did Motel 6 get its name in the first place, and what is the significance of the number 6?

Read on to learn the interesting history behind the Motel 6 brand name.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: Motel 6 was named that because the original motel charged $6 per night for a room when it first opened in 1962.

The First Motel 6

Motel 6, a well-known chain of budget-friendly motels, has a unique name that often piques curiosity. The story behind its name goes back to its humble beginnings in Santa Barbara, California in 1962.

Motel 6 was founded in Santa Barbara, California in 1962

The first Motel 6 was established in Santa Barbara, a picturesque coastal city known for its beautiful beaches and pleasant climate. The founders, William Becker and Paul Greene, envisioned a motel that would cater to budget-conscious travelers seeking affordable accommodations without compromising on comfort and cleanliness.

Becker and Greene believed that simplicity was key to their concept. They aimed to create a no-frills motel that offered the essentials at a reasonable price. This idea of simplicity would eventually become one of Motel 6’s defining characteristics.

The nightly room rate at the first motel was $6, which was very inexpensive at the time

When Motel 6 first opened its doors, the nightly room rate was set at $6. This was significantly lower than the average price of other motels at the time. In fact, the average room rate in the 1960s was around $8 to $10 per night.

The $6 rate was a deliberate choice by Becker and Greene. They wanted to offer an affordable option for travelers who were looking to save money on accommodations. By keeping the rates low, they hoped to attract a large number of guests and build a loyal customer base.

With the $6 rate, the motel was branded as Motel 6

The $6 room rate played a crucial role in branding the motel. Becker and Greene decided to name their establishment “Motel 6” to reflect the affordable price they offered. The name was catchy, simple, and easy to remember, perfectly aligning with the motel’s overall concept.

As Motel 6 gained popularity and expanded its operations, the $6 rate became synonymous with the brand. It became a symbol of affordability and value, attracting budget-conscious travelers from all walks of life.

Over the years, Motel 6 has remained committed to its founding principles, offering clean and comfortable accommodations at reasonable rates.

Today, Motel 6 has grown into one of the largest budget motel chains in the United States. It continues to provide travelers with a convenient and affordable option for their lodging needs, all while staying true to its roots as the original $6 motel.

The Meaning of the Number 6

When it comes to the name “Motel 6,” you might be wondering why the number 6 was chosen. Well, there are a few reasons behind this intriguing choice.

The number 6 referenced the initial $6 room rate

Back in 1962, when Motel 6 was founded, they wanted to offer affordable accommodations for travelers. The original room rate was just $6 per night, which was a bargain even back then. To reflect this affordability, the founders decided to incorporate the number 6 into the name of the motel.

This way, potential guests would immediately associate the motel with its low-cost offerings.

It was also a memorable, simple number that stood out

Choosing a name for a business is a critical decision, and the founders of Motel 6 wanted something that would be easy to remember. The number 6 fit the bill perfectly. It’s a simple, single-digit number that is easily recognizable and memorable.

By using this number in the name, Motel 6 hoped to create brand recognition and make an impression on potential customers.

Having a number in the name was unique for motels at the time

At the time Motel 6 was established, most motels didn’t incorporate numbers into their names. This made the choice of “Motel 6” unique and distinctive. By using a number, the founders were able to differentiate their motel from the competition and create a sense of curiosity among travelers.

It was a clever marketing strategy that helped Motel 6 stand out in a crowded industry.

So, the next time you see a Motel 6 sign on the side of the road, remember that the number 6 has a significant meaning behind it. It represents affordability, simplicity, and uniqueness, all of which are characteristics that have contributed to the success of this popular motel chain.

Growth and Success of the Brand

Motel 6, known for its iconic brand name, has experienced tremendous growth and success over the years. The brand’s affordability and simplicity have been key factors in driving its expansion.

The affordability and simplicity of Motel 6 drove its expansion

Motel 6 has been able to attract budget-conscious travelers by offering affordable rates without compromising on quality. The brand’s no-frills approach means that guests can enjoy a comfortable stay without unnecessary amenities or added costs.

This straightforward and streamlined approach has resonated with travelers looking for a hassle-free and cost-effective option.

In addition to its affordability, Motel 6 has also focused on providing a clean and comfortable experience for its guests. The brand’s commitment to cleanliness and quality assurance has helped build trust and loyalty among its customers.

By the late 1980s, there were over 650 Motel 6 locations

Thanks to its successful business model, Motel 6 experienced rapid growth throughout the 1970s and 1980s. By the late 1980s, there were over 650 Motel 6 locations across the United States. This widespread presence allowed the brand to cater to a wide range of travelers and establish itself as a reliable and accessible lodging option.

Motel 6’s expansion was fueled by a combination of strategic partnerships, efficient operations, and a strong focus on customer satisfaction. The brand’s commitment to providing affordable and reliable lodging options made it a popular choice among both leisure and business travelers.

Motel 6 brought economy lodging to the mainstream hospitality market

Prior to the establishment of Motel 6, the hospitality industry primarily catered to higher-end travelers. Motel 6 revolutionized the market by introducing economy lodging options that were accessible to a wider audience.

This shift brought about a democratization of the hospitality industry, making travel more affordable and inclusive for all.

Motel 6’s success in bringing economy lodging to the mainstream market paved the way for the growth of other budget hotel chains. Today, the economy lodging segment continues to thrive, offering travelers a range of affordable options without compromising on quality.

The Motel 6 Slogans

Throughout its history, Motel 6 has had a number of memorable slogans that have helped to shape its brand identity. These slogans have become synonymous with the Motel 6 experience and have played a significant role in attracting guests to their establishments.

“Motel 6 – The Lowest Price of Any National Motel Chain”

One of the most well-known slogans associated with Motel 6 is “Motel 6 – The Lowest Price of Any National Motel Chain.” This slogan emphasizes the company’s commitment to providing affordable accommodations for travelers.

Motel 6 has always prided itself on offering budget-friendly rates without compromising on quality. This commitment to affordability has made Motel 6 a popular choice for budget-conscious travelers looking for a reliable and comfortable place to stay.

According to a study conducted by Travelocity, Motel 6 consistently offers some of the lowest rates in the industry, making it an attractive option for travelers on a budget. This commitment to affordability has helped Motel 6 establish itself as a leader in the budget motel market.

“Motel 6 leaves the light on for you”

Another iconic slogan associated with Motel 6 is “Motel 6 leaves the light on for you.” This slogan speaks to the company’s dedication to providing a welcoming and reliable experience for its guests. The idea behind this slogan is that no matter what time of day or night you arrive, there will always be a warm and inviting light waiting for you at Motel 6.

This slogan has become a symbol of the company’s commitment to customer service and reliability. It conveys the message that Motel 6 is there for its guests, ready to provide them with a comfortable and safe place to rest, no matter the hour.

Both slogans emphasized value, simplicity and reliability

Both of these slogans, “Motel 6 – The Lowest Price of Any National Motel Chain” and “Motel 6 leaves the light on for you,” share a common theme of value, simplicity, and reliability. These slogans have helped to position Motel 6 as a trusted and dependable choice for travelers seeking affordable accommodations.

By focusing on these key attributes, Motel 6 has been able to build a strong brand identity and attract a loyal customer base. Whether it’s through their affordable rates or their commitment to providing a welcoming experience, Motel 6 has consistently delivered on their promises, making them a top choice for budget-conscious travelers.

Motel 6 Today

Motel 6 has come a long way since its humble beginnings. Today, it boasts over 1,100 locations in the United States and Canada. With its widespread presence, Motel 6 has become a go-to choice for budget-conscious travelers looking for a comfortable and affordable place to stay.

Motel 6 now has over 1,100 locations in the U.S. and Canada

From its first location in Santa Barbara, California in 1962, Motel 6 has expanded its reach across North America. With over 1,100 locations, it is no wonder that Motel 6 has become a household name for travelers seeking budget accommodations.

Whether you’re planning a road trip, a family vacation, or a business trip, you’re likely to find a Motel 6 conveniently located near your destination.

It remains one of the largest economy motel chains

Despite its impressive growth, Motel 6 has managed to maintain its position as one of the largest economy motel chains in the industry. By focusing on providing clean and comfortable rooms at affordable rates, Motel 6 has continued to attract budget-conscious travelers.

The company’s commitment to offering quality service without breaking the bank has helped it retain its status as a leader in the economy lodging sector.

The Motel 6 brand maintains the essence of its original model and name

While Motel 6 has evolved and expanded over the years, it has stayed true to its original model and name. The brand still embodies the principles that made it successful from the start – simplicity, affordability, and convenience.

Motel 6 continues to offer no-frills accommodations with modern amenities, ensuring that guests have a comfortable stay without unnecessary extravagance. The brand’s straightforward approach and commitment to providing value for money have endeared it to millions of travelers.


Motel 6 got its simple, memorable name from the $6 nightly rate charged when the very first Motel 6 opened in 1962. The number 6 stuck as the brand rapidly expanded across America over the next decades, emphasizing the budget-friendly lodging Motel 6 offered travelers.

Though room rates have risen with inflation, Motel 6 maintains its essence as an economical, reliable motel chain.

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