Motel 6 Anaheim Maingate

Even after more than 50 years, Motel 6 is still keeping the lights on -- and good thing, because the budget chain is in the midst of a renovation project that is expected to freshen up 75 percent of its properties in the U.S. and Canada by the end of this year.

The redesign, called Project Phoenix, has already rolled out to a number of outposts across the country -- including ones in the South, Midwest, and West Coast. Motel 6 has traditionally served family-oriented baby boomers and members of generation X traveling on a tight budget. But it's now modernizing with the times, and looking to attract frugal millennials. That's why you'll find thoughtful touches in the new guestrooms, like a multimedia panel to plug in electronic devices, cubbies for stowing smaller personal effects, and doors separating the vanity and bathroom areas from the rest of the room. Accommodations now sport a bright accent wall, wood-effect flooring, walk-in shower, and pillow-top beds with enough room to store suitcases underneath. Lobbies and building exteriors have also been upgraded as part of the renovations.

These changes will go a long way in differentiating Motel 6 from competitors like Budget Host, Econo Lodge, and Super 8. Also impressive: Average room rates will remain in the $50-range, though of course prices are location- and season-dependent.

Project Phoenix is a large part of Motel 6’s rebranding effort, which also includes the opening of a little more than 100 additional locations, like Long Island City and Brooklyn in New York later this year. G6 Hospitality, the owner and operator of Motel 6, will also soon be venturing into Latin America with the launch of two new brands, Hotel 6 and Estudio 6 -- more signs that big things are happening for the company.

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