We’ve talked about the Clown Motel a few times on Popcorn Horror. The motel is in the middle of the Nevada desert, along Highway 95 between Las Vegas and Reno, in a small town called Tonopah. The small motel is packed with thousands of clown dolls, paintings and puppets – with eyes that seem to follow guests around their rooms.
Catering to bikers, truckers, and other long haul travelers that find themselves off the beaten path, the Clown Motel is the final port of call before the yet another stretch of unbroken Nevada desert. Many have found the experience too unnerving to sleep, and asked the owners of the motel to cover portraits with sheets.
But now, this iconic location is under threat from major corporate takeover, threatening it’s cult status as a place to invoke nightmares in travelers. Until now, the motel has been a small independent business. Bob Perchetti opened the roadside attraction 22 years ago and lined the lobby and rooms with his partner’s family collection of clowns. But now, the clown keeper is ready to retire.
“It’s just like any job. It’s something you love, or you hate. I’ve always loved this job,” Perchetti said, “Oh, I’m going to miss the clowns. I’m going to come back. I’m going to come back and visit my clowns,”
Perchetti has lived in Tonopah his entire life, and he doesn’t have any plans to leave. He hopes to sell the motel for around $900,000.
Fan of the motel, Joseph Amey was concerned that building’s cult status would make it an appealing investment for large property or hotel chains. So, he has taken to Kickstarter to appeal for the funds needed to keep the Clown Motel independent. On the campaign page he explains; “Let’s not allow this iconic haunting landmark slip into the hands of a huge corporation and be turned into a bland, white walled, ordinary Motel 6, Holiday Inn or Best Western. Help me preserve this uniquely haunting hotel for generations to come.”
As well as being outright creepy, the building was also the setting for Clown Motel – a film set in and inspired by the motel.