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The Clown Motel in Tonopah, Nevada has long been one of our favorite roadside oddities. It’s just completely out there, and while we admire their staunch commitment to the theme, which features hundreds of clown figurines, dolls, paintings, and more, we can’t help but feel a little creeped out by it. The old mining cemetery next door certainly doesn’t help.¬†The owner of the Clown Motel, though, is ready to retire from the business and is looking for a new steward for the notoriously creepy motel.

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Where’d all those clowns come from?

Bob Perchetti opened the Clown Motel about 20 years ago with a business partner. His partner had a massive family clown collection that he moved into the hotel, and the rest is history. Some visitors come specifically for the theme, others to hunt for ghosts in the graveyard across the parking lot, and some just to experience the weirdness. When high school sports teams stay the night in the motel, many kids reportedly cover the clown pictures in the rooms with towels to prevent It-style nightmares.

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All in all, it’s not a bad place to stay. It’s cheap and clean, the wifi is free, and it’s pet-friendly. The asking price for the property is $900,000… and yes, the clown collection is included. But,¬†clown-o-phobes, before you get excited at the prospect of buying the place and removing the kitschy decor, one condition of the sale is that the clowns must remain. Perchetti has grown fond of them and plans to come back to visit the smiling clown faces every once in a while.

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  1. We have stayed at the Clown Motel, and whenever we drive by we are reminded of it–cheap, clean, a bit noisy, but an “okay” stay. We took a leisurely stroll through the graveyard, which was quite fascinating, as looking at the dates there were some patterns that emerged, probably telling some interesting stories if more were known. Tonopah is a town somewhat revived with the gold mining, with new motels, the wonderful refurbishment of the Mizpah Hotel and other buildings. It is a “different” spot on the map, not too much different than when we first passed through in 1955.


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