Old Kinston motor lodge being retro-fitted to open as 60's style hotel in April

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KINSTON, N.C. (WITN) - A hotel in the east that was built in 1964 is being retro-fitted back to it's former glory.

"It had become the seedy motel, you could rent by the hour, by the day by the week, so you know what was going on here, and it made this end of town just very shady," says Stephen Hill who is doing the renovations.

The Kinston Motor Lodge will reopen as the Mother Earth Motor Lodge in April with 20 suites and 25 single rooms that will look exactly as they did when the lodge opened in 1964, including the restoration of the kidney-shaped pool.

"All the furniture is from the 60's, the carpet has bright orange and avocado green colors that you would've seen in the 60's, the staff will wear bell bottoms and platform shoes, it's just a throwback," says Hill.

The furniture is not yet in place, but it soon will be.

Hill grew up in Kinston and remembers it's vibrancy fondly. It's what he hopes to bring back.

"People came from all around to shop in Kinston, my mother came here, got her hair fixed here and she'd give me 50 cents and I'd go to the bakery and get a brownie and go to the hardware store and get, that is still open, the hardware store, and get seeds for our garden. I mean so it is nostalgia and I remember what it was and I hate to see it crumble like it has."

He says he hopes the retro style and the easy walkable access to the brewery and downtown restaurants brings people back to the area.

Hill also said that the reputation, or vibe, of the area has already improved in the last two years from the old hotel being closed.

Nothing is final on rates yet, but Hill estimates that a night in a single room will run around $99 and a suite will be around $120.

This will be Hill's second hotel in Kinston. He also redid the Farmers and Merchants Bank into the O'Neil Hotel.