Kinston motel gets a retro makeover

KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) – Kinston is planning for the future with a nod to the past.

The renaissance of downtown Kinston continues and soon visitors will have a new place to stay when they come to take in all the city has to offer. The Mother Earth Motor Lodge will open later in the week, a creation of the folks at Mother Earth Brewing.

“I’m proud of most of the projects that we’ve done,” said Stephen Hill, founder of Mother Earth Motor Lodge. “I’m really proud of this one because it’s got that feel. As you’ll see when you go in, it’s really got that feel that you’re stepping back into the 1960’s.”

Just a few blocks from the brewery sits a motel, built back in the early 1960’s. Now, it’s being upgraded with modern day amenities, while retaining that retro feel. It’s a building that, until recently, had seen better days. “One more eyesore in Kinston and it was a bad, seedy place,” said Hill.

For Hill, renovating the motel that originally opened back in 1963 was a no-brainer. He’s done the same with many other properties around Kinston. “It’s great to take something old and make it new again,” said Hill. “And use what people before us built and not tear it down and build something new. It’s historic preservation.”

They’re making the motel new again, but doing so with a nod to the past. “Yeah, yeah, I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the movie “Catch Me If You Can” where Leonardo DiCapprio went to a motel. Well this is kind of like that,” Hill added.

Forty-five rooms in all – 25 deluxe suites with a living area and a separate bedroom. Twenty others are your common style rooms. They all have one thing in common – a look that will take you back to the 1960’s. “All of the furniture is retro back to that time. We used bold colors, you know orange, green and all that type of thing,” Hill told WNCt. “Local artists did all paintings that are on the walls and they’re paintings of scenes all around Kinston and Lenoir County.”

The rooms have the retro feel, yet are updated with all your modern day amenities like HD TV and wifi. On the outside the kidney shaped pool is being worked on as well as other upgrades to make the motor lodge feel like a true getaway. “I think there’s 46 palm trees coming in. Twenty some came in today and they’re trying to get as many in the ground as possible because they haven’t been watered in two or three days. But it’s going to be very interesting, you just wait,” Hill said.


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