Roadside Attraction: Arne’s Royal Hawaiian Motel

by Michael Satterfield

It opened in 1957 Arne’s Royal Hawaiian Motel was a beacon in the desert wasteland between Barstow and Las Vegas. Back when speed limits were lower and highways became Main Street in small towns like Baker, the trip to Las Vegas from Los Angeles often found travelers stopping in Baker for the night. The '60s and '70s towns like Baker were kept on life support by the craze of desert racing but as Interstate 15 expanded the town of Baker was all but bypassed.

Today the Royal Hawaiian is listed for sale, the motel closed down in 2008 leaving just one hotel left in the desert oasis. Today Baker's claim to fame is being home to the world's tallest thermometer and is a place you stop to go to the bathroom and perhaps buy some Alien Jerky on your way to and from Las Vegas. If you wanted to buy the Royal Hawaiian it is listed for sale, for just $450,000 you could own this roadside wonder which includes a 3,200 sq foot garage, a three-bedroom managers house, and an extra mobile home space... of course the ad does state that it needs some renovation...