Wyoming Motel, Cheyenne

wyoming motel

By Luke Anderson

The Wyoming Motel is located on West Lincolnway in Cheyenne. Lincolnway is part of US Highway 30, which was historically known as the Lincoln Highway - hence the name Lincolnway. The Lincoln Highway is famous all across America for the oftentimes campy buildings and attractions that sprouted up along the route to attract the new crop of cross-country automobile tourists. In addition to the museums and other tourist traps, the Lincoln Highway also helped spur a new form of an existing industry out of necessity - the drive-in motel. Grand hotels were common in communities across the West that were stops along the railroad. These hotels, such as the Hotel Tomahawk in Green River or the Virginian Hotel in Medicine Bow were close to the depots, had multiple stories, and were designed to accommodate travelers who did not have vehicles of their own. Long-distance highway travel in personal vehicles would require places for travelers to stop and rest and thus the more affordable option of the roadside motel was born to accommodate car travelers. 

The sign for the Wyoming Motel has become an iconic image in Cheyenne.

The Wyoming Motel in Cheyenne was one of the many motels that sprung up in the heyday of long distance automobile travel. According to Laramie County GIS data, the motel was built in 1936, making the motel a Cheyenne institution for the last 80 years. The motel now houses long-term residents rather than overnight guests. It is also well-known for the Luxury Diner, which began in 1926 inside a train car before being incorporated into the motel later (Roddam). The motel's iconic sign, which is one of many brightly colored mid-century commercial signs that dot the Lincoln Highway, is also a beloved feature of the Cheyenne landscape. The Wyoming Motel sign was featured on the cover of the award-winning collection of short stories Cowboys and East Indians by Wyoming author Nina McConigley. 

You can learn more about life at the Wyoming Motel here.

Sources:

Roddam, Rick. "Cheyenne's Luxury Diner Closes Indefinitely After Ownership Change." Kingfm.com. April 27, 2015.

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