Roy’s neon sign in Amboy shines again

Roy's Motel and Café lit up the Amboy sky for the first time since the '80s on Nov. 16. The sign will stay on for the foreseeable future.

AMBOY  The Amboy community traveled back in time last weekend as the historic Roy’s Motel and Café neon sign turned on for the first time in 35 years.

Roy’s Motel & Cafe was first opened as a gas and service station in 1938, on Route 66. Roy’sѕ was the only stop where drivers could find gas, a hot meal and a bed in the area so it was a hub for travelers. After the opening of Interstate 40, fewer and fewer tourists were taking the detour onto Route 66 and Amboy became the living ghost town that we know it as today.

Roy’s is one of the few buildings still operating in Amboy.

In 2003, Roy’s Motel & Cafe was sold to a philanthropist by the name of Albert Okura, the founder of Juan Pollo. Okura and his family began to work on a revitalization project for Roy’s in 2008.

At 5 p.m. Nov. 16, the community celebrated with music, food and more. The sign turned back on and lit up Amboy.

(1) comment


There was a lot of noise a few years back about the re-opening of this motel and restaurant. Like most rosy plans around this desert it was just another pipe dream. The sign is great. But what about the 1000's of tourists that will stop there thinking there's a room for rent or a meal to eat? That place is like a mirage that fades away the closer you get.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.