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Motel operator is driven to keep Route 66 culture alive and kicking
Motel operator is driven to keep Route 66 culture alive and kicking

Kumar Patel grew up along Route 66, a highway long celebrated in literature, song and film. He was not impressed. On his first long road trip, about six years ago, he found himself bored by the route's decaying monuments, mom-and-pop diners and dusty museums. "I hated it," he said. "But I didn't understand it." The journey to understanding started soon after that trip, when his mother started having health problems. She had been running the family's Wigwam Motel, a clutch of 20 tepee-shaped rooms on Route 66 in San Bernardino. She could no longer run it alone. So at 26, Patel took over, giving up a career in accounting to run an aging tourist trap...

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