Beautifully engraved RARE Specimen stock certificate from the Motel 6, Limited Partnership
printed in 1989. This historic document was printed by the American Banknote Company and has an
ornate border around it with a vignette of a man and woman next to a Motel 6 sign in front of the Motel.
Motel 6 was founded in Santa Barbara, California, in 1962, by two local building contractors, William Becker and Paul Greene. The partners developed a plan to build motels with rooms at bargain rates. They decided on a US$6 nightly room rate that would cover building costs, land leases, and janitorial supplies; hence the company name "Motel 6".
Becker and Greene had specialized in building low-cost housing developments, and they wanted to provide an alternative to other major hotel chains such as Holiday Inn, whose locations were becoming increasingly upscale in quality and price in the 1960s, after starting out with a budget-oriented concept. Becker and Greene spent two years formulating their business model, and searched for ways to cut costs as much as possible. During the chain's early years, Motel 6 emphasized itself as a "no-frills" lodging chain with rooms featuring coin-operated black-and-white television receivers instead of the free color televisions found in the more expensive motels, along with functional interior decor, to reduce the time it took to clean the rooms. The first location in Santa Barbara had no restaurant on-site, a notable difference from other hotels of the era; most locations to this day have no on-site dining, though there is usually a choice of restaurants nearby.
As the 1960s progressed, the Motel 6 idea became very popular in the lodging industry and other chains began to imitate the concept, as Motel 6 was slowly beginning to take a small share of the market away from the traditional hotels. In 1965 Motel 6 opened its 15th property, and first location outside of California, in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah. Realizing the need to move quickly, Becker and Green set out on an ambitious expansion program and had opened its 25th location in Gilroy, California, by 1966. The occupancy rate by then was about 85 percent, well above the industry average, and as a result of their success, Motel 6 became an attractive acquisition target. Becker and Greene sold the chain to an investment group in 1968.
In the early 1970s Motel 6 opened its largest location, Motel 6 Tropicana, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Additionally, the chain moved east and opened a location in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in 1972. By 1980 Motel 6 had reached 300 locations. It was sold to Kohlberg Kravis Roberts in 1985, who moved the chain away from its "no frills" approach and began including amenities such as telephones and color television.
Market share declined throughout the 1980s, in part because of increased competition from other budget hotels. During this time span, it bought out the Sixpence Inn chain in the western U.S., and Envoy Inn (formerly Bargaintel) in the Midwestern United States and Pennsylvania. Regal 8 Motels were acquired in 1991. In 1990, the company was bought by the French-based Accor. In 1993, they opened their first high-rise location — Motel 6 LAX in Los Angeles, California.
Unlike the majority of motel chains, Motel 6 allows pets, and directly owns and operates most of its locations. However, in order to expand more rapidly outside of its traditional Western United States base, the chain did start franchising in 1994. Accor management also took over motels that had previously been franchised by other chains. Motel 6 also began to renovate all bedrooms, sold off under-performing locations, and upgraded door locks and other security measures. Newer properties, as well as acquisitions, have interior corridors. Its competitors include Budget Host, Econo Lodge, and Super 8 Motels. Then, in 1999, Motel 6 launched Studio 6 Extended Stay suites, which feature fully equipped kitchenettes and are designed for longer stays.
With the turn of the millennium came even more expansions. In 2000 Motel 6 went international by opening its first location outside the U.S. in Burlington, Ontario, Canada. Then, in 2002 Motel 6 celebrated their 40th anniversary at their first location in Santa Barbara, California.
A few years later in 2006, Accor and Motel 6 used their success for a good cause and invested more than $6 million in properties to help rebuild New Orleans and Gulfport following Hurricane Katrina. The Motel 6 founder William Becker died of a heart attack at the age of 85 the next year.
In 2009 Motel 6 introduced their first, newly constructed Phoenix prototype in Northlake, Texas, with energy-saving features and a modern, new design. Additionally, they opened up their 1,000th property in Biloxi, Mississippi, and introduced a new logo that reflected the modern look of the new room design.
Motel 6's new room design won the 2010 Travel and Leisure Design Award for Best Large Hotel, and in 2011 Motel 6 opened its 1,100th location in Cleburne, Texas.
In October 2012 the chain was sold to The Blackstone Group for $1.9 billion.
History from OldCompany.com, Wikipedia and
(collectible Savings Bonds website)About Specimen Certificates
Specimen Certificates are actual certificates that have never been issued. They were usually kept by the printers in their permanent archives as their only example of a particular certificate. Sometimes you will see a hand stamp on the certificate that says "Do not remove from file".
Specimens were also used to show prospective clients different types of certificate designs that were available. Specimen certificates are usually much scarcer than issued certificates. In fact, many times they are the only way to get a certificate for a particular company because the issued certificates were redeemed and destroyed. In a few instances, Specimen certificates were made for a company but were never used because a different design was chosen by the company.
These certificates are normally stamped "Specimen" or they have small holes spelling the word specimen. Most of the time they don't have a serial number, or they have a serial number of 00000. This is an exciting sector of the hobby that has grown in popularity over the past several years.