Amboy and Roy's Cafe
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Moag Ohana
N 34° 33.515 W 115° 44.653
11S E 615207 N 3824809
Quick Description: This is one of my favorite "must stop rest spots" on the way to Laughlin/Colorado river.
Location: California, United States
Date Posted: 1/7/2008 4:10:27 PM
Waymark Code: WM2XZ9
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member fishingwishing
Views: 117

Long Description:
The information below is taken from Wikipedia:

Roy's Motel and Cafe

Roy's Motel and CafeRoy's Motel and Cafe was the only gasoline, food and lodging stop for miles around that part of the eastern Mojave and was well known for both its Googie "retro-future" architecture added to one of the original buildings and even more famous sign, a 1959 addition. Both Roy's and the surrounding town were once owned by Buster Burris, one of Route 66's most famous characters who purchased Roy's from his father-in-law Roy Crowl, the man for whom the property is named, in 1938 and ran the town until 1995.[1] Burris was also responsible for erecting power poles between Amboy and Barstow, using a crane mounted on a 1930s-vintage Studebaker truck.

In 1938 Roy Crowl opened "Roy's" as a service station on Route 66 in Amboy. Roy, together with his wife Velma, owned the town. In the 1940s Roy teamed up with Herman "Buster" Burris who ended up marrying his daughter Betty. Together they expanded the business, keeping it open 24 hours a day and adding the motel to the service station and cafe. Business boomed in the deluge of motor tourists after World War II.

The coming of Route 66 - originally named "National Trails Highway" in the 1910s and reverted to that name after the decommissioning of 66 - saw a steady growth of business, especially at Roy's. The complex was so busy during summer vacation that Burris placed classified ads in other states in an effort to bring in enough help.

In 1972 Roy's lost the traffic from Route 66 to I-40 to the north and went into decline. Burris himself told a visitor on July 3, 1977 that his business dropped to zero the day the new Interstate highway opened. Buster also remarked that in 1971 the town held several hundred people; after the bypass they had no choice but to leave the area as there was no longer any way for them to make a living. Buster Burris then destroyed most of the town's buildings to avoid tax liability.

In 1977 Roy Crowl died and his son-in-law continued the business; but with his strong views against rowdy bikers and men with long hair, he did chase off many a visitor at gunpoint.

Buster sold the town in 2000, just before he died at the age of 92. The town was owned by investors Walt Wilson and Tim White starting from 2000. After the two investors lost it in foreclosure, it was repossessed by Bessie Burris, Buster's widow. Bessie sold the property again in 2005 to Albert Okura, owner of the Juan Pollo restaurant chain, who offered $425,000 in cash and promised to preserve the town and reopen Roy's.

Amboy School
Right next to Roy's is the former Amboy School.

Shoe Tree
A tamarisk tree east of Roy's on Route 66 is used as Shoe tree (roadside attraction).

Early history
Amboy is also one of California's oldest towns, dating from 1858[3] and even has an unused, unrestored one-room schoolhouse dating from the 1900s. Its growth over the years was tied to chloride works in the dry lake beds that dot the area as well as the Santa Fe Railroad over which high-speed freight trains still run between Kingman, Arizona and the BNSF Railway giant Barstow yard. The chloride works rank among the world's largest.

From ghost town to film location

Abandoned gas station in Amboy. As of 08/29/2007, it was reported that Roy's gas station was in working order and many people were seen getting gasoline. According to those who live in a nearby town of Yucca Valley, the gas station is only open sporadically.

Roy's was the town's only business outside of the chloride works and post office. Roy's is currently closed but the owners state they are trying to restore water and power and perhaps even sell gas. The cabins which were once rented to Route 66 travelers stand unused. Roy's used to be open for food and gasoline, but the hours of operation were erratic under the previous owners. Gasoline was also considerably more expensive than normal at roughly thirty percent above the state average. Roy's even attracted some well-known regulars. Actors Harrison Ford and Anthony Hopkins have autographed photos on the walls of the restaurant and visit whenever their schedules allow. Ford frequently flies in and lands his plane on a nearby landing strip, one of the first ever built in California. Despite its remote location, Amboy still beckons travelers to and from the Colorado River as well as those interested in Route 66 lore. Part of the 1986 motion picture The Hitcher with Rutger Hauer was filmed in Amboy while Roy's was the setting for a 1999 television commercial for Qwest Communications. It was also used in Enrique Iglesias' music video "Hero." Owners Wilson and White maintained Amboy in weathered, unrestored condition for use as a motion picture film site.

The town has a total of 10 surviving buildings and a population of far fewer than the advertised 20. According to the Los Angeles Times, the town's population is approximately four.

Amboy is a well known landmark for those traveling to and from Las Vegas from Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley. The "Amboy Route" is well-known among valley residents. The route via Yucca Valley, Twentynine Palms, Amboy, then via Kelbaker Road through Kelso and on to Cima to join interstate 15 at Nipton Road.

Preservation and restoration
Currently the water and electricity need to be restored before preservation can begin. Okura estimates he has spent over $100,000 to restore the restaurant, but estimates have the renovation topping $1,000,000 before it will be ready to open again. There has been some vandalism at Amboy recently, thwarting much of the effort of preserving the town. To prevent further vandalism, a caretaker is now living on site. Plans to sell gas again are still on.


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