Uncommon Overnighters: The Clown Motel
Turn that frown upside down with a stay at Tonopah’s colorful and clever motel.
It’s no secret that Nevada offers world-renowned hospitality at lavish resort-casinos and cozy roadside hotels. But elsewhere in the Silver State, our perks are also our quirks. If, instead, you’re looking for a vacation that’s irresistibly different, Nevada’s array of unique retreats and unusual accommodations have got you covered.
The Clown Motel in Tonopah boasts what’s got to be the largest collection of clown figurines and memorabilia under the sun. Some 3,200 clowns call the motel’s lobby home, with more pouring in weekly as donations from around the world. It’s a sight to behold and one that you won’t find anywhere else.
For anyone not normally keen on clowns, it’s worth noting the motel is, first and foremost, a comfortable and cozy place to stay the night. Manager Hame Anand, a devout clown lover, gets that they’re not for everyone, but he encourages people to stop and have a look. Anand is happy to show off the clean and welcoming rooms, which are tastefully decorated with his paintings. He’ll even try to match guests to a room with a painting they might fancy: Gandhi, Elton John, and Charlie Chaplin as clowns are among the artwork he’s created.
For extreme adventure seekers, what’s better than a dash of ghosts with your clowns? The Clown Motel sits directly next to the historic Old Tonopah Cemetery, where Tonopah’s earliest silver mine workers are entombed (many who died in a tragic mining accident in 1911). The motel has been named “America’s Scariest Motel” due to its proximity to the cemetery and was featured on Travel Channel’s “Ghost Adventures.”
Even if you can’t stay the night, drop by the lobby, get drowned in clowns, and snap up some truly unique souvenirs from the gift shop.