V A C A N C Y   M O T E L

You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave... The Eagles

*this location has since been demolished

Vacancy Motel (Regency Motel), Howell, New Jersey

explored & photographed by: Shady

The decrepit old Regency Motel sat right off of Route 9 (in Howell) There was nothing left behind to reveal what the name of the place was; all that was left was a rusty vacancy sign (hence the nickname that I've lovingly given it- the Vacancy Motel)

And vacant would be a pretty good way to describe this site; it was boarded up and appeared completely forgotten. It was a really big place... your basic motel setup... with an office up front and a parking lot flanked by buildings containing hotel rooms. Vines and vegetation were creeping up and around the entire motel grounds. As I explored, an early sliver of moon hung in the sky above (picture above, right, if you look realllly close), providing atmosphere

Vacancy... there's plenty of room at this motel. Wanna check in? The buildings seemed to stretch on forever... and something(???) was allowed only in registered guest rooms at one point- who knows what? There was still a lot of stuff in the old office... furniture... papers... even a pair of roller-skates!

Lots of strange things could be found at the Vacancy Motel... several desks lie upside-down on the cracked, uneven pavement of the parking lot... a stained trail of SOMETHING leads across the pool area... and someone scrawled an eerie message outside one of the motel room doors- an unsatisfied guest??

The pool area was a little creepy. Deep cracks scarred the concrete surrounding the pool, which has a few feet of disgusting murky black "water" pooled at the bottom. The smaller 2-story building that wrapped around the pool blocked the sunlight and casts a gloomy shadow over the whole area. Again, there were odd things strewn about.. like a shattered t.v. set... and old maid's cart that looked like someone had just finished cleaning a room with it... a window pane smashed against a cement step

There were so many rooms in this place, all boarded up. This was a pretty good-sized motel, one can only wonder what lay behind all the hundreds of boarded-up doors that lined the complex. The old neon welcome sign had all but fallen apart

Foliage engulfed the buildings in some spots, and the forest crept onto the parking lot out back. The motel had some groovy retro accents, like the funky carved door and wrought iron gates and fences found throughout, and a chain-link fence protectively bordering the whole property. This place was so large- and interesting

Above, some experimental shots I took using the negative setting on my camera... just cause I think it looks funky ;)

The Vacancy Motel... an empty and abandoned motel on Route 9... complete with vacancy sign... would you like a room? Check in with a VM wallpaper

Our reader Gene sent us this background stuff about this location, "I think it was called the Regency but I would not bet my life on it. It was always a "sleazy" type motel and at one time had a Go-Go bar. When business got bad it became a welfare motel which could explain some of the stuff you found in the rooms."

R E G E N C Y   M O T E L   D E M O L I S H E D

Sadly, this infamous abandoned motel has since been demolished completely...

Regency Motel

Regency Motel

Photos by Kathy Baratta

Our reader Lorenzo sent us the photos above, and the following fascinating info: "While I was looking through some ooold news papers,I came across an article about Vacancy Motel, it's name was the Regency Motel, they called it Route 9 Motel. The article was about a dude named Eddie Mack who was a construction official who  recommended for the motel to be demolished after it was abandoned, August 1997. It was first opened in early 1987. The motel is owned by Rosenreich LLC, a Lakewood company, according to attorney Steven I. Pfeffer, who represented the owner at the municipal hearing. Howell Police Stephen Grabowski testified there have been "problems of every sort out there" since the motel officially closed for business in August 1997. Since that date, Grabowski said, homeless squatters have taken up residence in several rooms at the motel. Since there are no utilities in operation at the motel the people there are using candles for light, creating unsafe conditions, the officer said hazards were discovered at the property. The health hazards are two large septic holding tanks covered only by rotting weeds and debris and dry toilet use by the local teenagers known to be using the site as a hangout and the empty swimming pool for skateboarding..."

Thanks Gene, Lorenzo and Kathy!

Do you have any background information or stories to tell about this abandoned site?

Another Route 9 Roadside Find! For even more, check out Trippin' On 9


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