Perhaps one of the most popular motels along Route 66, The Blue Swallow Motel has been in operation since 1941 and still provides patrons with private garages for their vehicles. Originally received as a wedding gift from her fiance, Lillian Redman ran the motel for over 40 years before stepping back from the hospitality business in her late 80’s. Since that time, there have been other owners, but Kevin and Nancy Mueller have maintained the true character of The Blue Swallow since 2011 that would have made Lillian proud.
Named by Smithsonian Magazine as “the last, best and friendliest of the old-time motels”, The Blue Swallow Motel has caught the attention of everyone from Pixar films to Bob Dylan. Featured in the classic movie Cars, The Blue Swallow’s neon is a wink in the movie to The Cozy Cone Motel, which displays in neon, “100% Refrigerated Air” slogan.
Join The Route 66 Podcast host Anthony Arno as he talks with Kevin Mueller about maintaining and operating one of the most popular destinations along the Road. The episode features talks about
- Kevin’s earliest memory of Route 66
- Kevin and his wife looking for a semi-retirmement career along Route 66
- What the Mueller’s didn’t know about Route 66 and The Blue Swallow Motel prior to purchasing one of the most famous motels along the route
- Understanding the worldwide appeal of The Blue Swallow
- What other business Kevin and Nancy were considering along Route 66?
- Behind the scenes renovations at the motel
- Typical day at The Blue Swallow Motel
- The life of Lillian Redman, Route 66 advocate and 1950’s Blue Swallow proprietor
- Memorable guests and Bob Dylan’s sketch of The Blue Swallow
- Maintaining the neon lights
- Networking with other Route 66 motel owners
- The potential of Tucumcari
- Most popular souvenir from The Blue Swallow
- Kevin and Nancy’s bucket list.
Kevin Mueller and family
Beaten Path Series