Hotel that housed Timothy McVeigh receives Route 66 grant
PHOENIX -- A Kingman, Ariz. hotel that once housed Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh has received a grant designed to preserve historic Route 66.
The National Park Service granted the Hilltop Motel a much-coveted Route 66 Cost-Share Preservation Grant. If the motel's owner, Dennis Schroeder, comes up with $21,000, the Park Service will match that with a $20,000 grant for much-needed repairs.
The most notable guest who has stayed at the motel is the Oklahoma City Bomber, who killed 168 people at the Murrah Federal Building on April 19, 2005.
"We had Timothy McVeigh in February of 1995, which is basically a few weeks before the events in Oklahoma City," said Schroeder.
Sometimes, people are curious about the room that McVeigh stayed in.
"You'll get a few that want it," Schroeder said. "Other people don't want anything to do with it. It's just a part of history."
Other celebrities have stopped by the motel.
"After playing Woodstock in the late '60s or early '70s, the group 'Crosby, Stills and Nash' came to the Hilltop looking for a room," said Schroeder. "They were turned away because the motel was full for the night, but they were allowed to take showers in a room that was being used for storage."
The Hilltop Motel also appeared in the video for Dan Seals song "Everything That Glitters is Not Gold." The video shows a character walking across the motel's parking lot and the sign can be seen. Schroder said that a local veterinarian played Seals in the video.
The Hilltop Motel first opened in 1954. The National Park Service called it an "excellent example of motels that opened during the post-World War II family vacation boom."
The motel touts itself as having the best view in Kingman.
"We have a spectacular view of the Hualapai Mountains," Schroeder said. "It's interesting to look back at the very first postcards that were issued for the motel. That was one of the phrases that they used in their advertising for the property, and it still remains true today."
Schroeder, who has owned the Hilltop Motel since 1981, said he's thrilled to receive the honor. It is the only Arizona business to receive the grant this year. Schroeder plans to spend the money upgrading the motel's air conditioning and heating system.
Bob McClay, Reporter