Old Roadside Motel Sign Gatlinburg TN




Old Roadside Motel Sign Gatlinburg TN #gatlinburg


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Welcome to our blog post about the Old Roadside Motel Sign in Gatlinburg, TN! This iconic landmark has been a part of the city’s history for many years, drawing visitors and locals alike to its unique charm and retro appeal. In this post, we’ll provide you with a closer look at the sign’s history, its significance to the area, and why it continues to be an enduring symbol of Gatlinburg’s past. So buckle up and join us on a journey through this beloved piece of Americana!


Driving through Gatlinburg is a beautiful experience with the beautiful views of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, winding roads and the beautiful towns in between. One could easily miss out on some of the gems that this scenic location has to offer, including Roadside Motel. This classic motel, with its vintage sign, is located right in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. In this article, we will explore the history and significance of Old Roadside Motel Sign in Gatlinburg.

History of Old Roadside Motel Sign:

The Old Roadside Motel Sign in Gatlinburg is a landmark that has been around for generations. Built in 1950, it was originally a motel called the “Trail Motel” and was owned by Jim Ogle. This iconic sign featuring a large arrow, with the words “Motel” and “Air-Conditioned,” was built by Neon Products, Inc. in Michigan. Its bright neon lights clearly distinguished the motel from the surrounding landscape, which was especially helpful for travelers who were looking for a place to stay.

The Sign’s fame and recognition

Once the Roadside Motel was closed, the sign was saved and has become a local icon. It has been photographed for many years and has appeared in different media to promote Gatlinburg. The sign’s popularity peaked when it was used on the cover of the third edition of Moon’s Handbook Gatlinburg, published in 1998.

Renovation of the sign

Over time, the sign has suffered wear and tear due to natural elements such as wind, weather and the sun. In 2018, it was reported that the owners of the sign were taking it down for a significant renovation. According to some locals, the sign was expected to be replaced by an LED replica that would continue to pay homage to the iconic original.


  • The Old Roadside Motel Sign was built in 1950
  • It was originally part of a motel called the “Trail Motel” and was owned by Jim Ogle.
  • The sign was built by Neon Products, Inc. in Michigan.
  • It has become a local icon and has appeared on the cover of Moon’s Handbook Gatlinburg.
  • In 2018, the sign was due for a significant renovation.


  1. Is the Old Roadside Motel Sign still in Gatlinburg?
    Yes, the sign is still present in Gatlinburg.
  2. Can visitors visit the sign?
    Yes, visitors can visit the sign and take pictures of it.
  3. When was the Roadside Motel closed?
    The exact date is unknown, but it was closed some time ago.
  4. Who owns the sign?
    The current owners of the sign are unknown.
  5. What is the significance of the sign?
    The sign is an iconic symbol of Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and its old school vintage aesthetic brings a touch of nostalgia to the city.


The Old Roadside Motel Sign in Gatlinburg, Tennessee is an iconic symbol of the city’s history. Its bright neon lights have attracted tourists for years and continue to serve as a reminder of Gatlinburg’s past. Although it is in need of renovations, the sign still stands tall, reminding us of our cultural heritage. Don’t forget to take a picture of it on your next visit to Gatlinburg.


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