The walls of the 58-year-old retro Starlite Motel are coming down on South Broadway this week. Kwik Trip, which recently bought the old motel, plans to add a two–bay car wash to its convenience store at South Broadway and 20th Street S.W., which is south of the motel .
With the speed that the demolition is moving, it is possible that the motel could be cleared away and the new car wash built before the end of the year.
La Crosse, Wis.-based Kwik Trip bought the 17-room motel at 1921 S. Broadway from local hotelier Ash Patel at the end of August for $500,000.
While the Starlite has seemed pretty tired in recent years, it started life as a shiny, modern motel in 1954. That's when it was built by Howard and Edna Welch. They also built another Starlite Motel in the Wisconsin Dells, which remains open for business.
The demolition of the Starlite marks the end of yet another of Rochester's older, less expensive lodging choices. The Bell Tower Inn, the Alpine Inn and the A & A Guest House, all on Second Street Southwest, have their own demolition coming yet this year.