WEST SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — One of West Sacramento’s most historic parts is getting a modern new look.
The stretch of West Capitol Avenue once known for its’ “no-tell motels” will soon be the home of a Hilton Extended Stay Suites.
Construction crews are now pounding away on West Capitol Avenue’s first new hotel in decades. West Sacramento Economic Development Manager Diane Richards said Hilton is building a “beautiful four-story, 115 room Hilton Home2 Suites.”
The Hilton will stand out from nearby older motels, leftover from West Cap’s better days. The avenue is a segment of the historic Lincoln Highway that dates back to 1926. Business started booming back then when people began vacationing in cars, and a trip from San Francisco to Lake Tahoe took two days.
“Basically you had to make a stop halfway up to the Sierras, and West Capitol Avenue had motels to handle the motoring public for the night,” Joel Windmiller, Chapter President of the Lincoln Highway Association, said.
The stretch included the Hotel El Rancho, a place popular with celebrities, and even a motel built to resemble the state capitol. But after Highway 50 was built, that all changed and travelers no longer passed through.
Swipe through historic pictures of West Capitol Avenue
“The decline of West Capitol Avenue happened in the mid-to-late ’50s when the freeway was built basically bypassing this entire section of West Capitol Avenue,” Windmiller said.
The motels got an unsavory reputation for prostitution and other crimes. West Sacramento city leaders say this is the latest effort to revitalize the area.
“We’ve invested millions of dollars in doing new streetscapes that you can see here, the civic center, the library, the college, this is the center of activity here,” Richards said.
Brining the area back to life, it’s an effort that’s supported by those who work to remember its past.
“I think it’s very important to revitalize this section… a modern hotel will bring people into West Sacramento and help the economy,” Windmiller said.
The new Hilton costs about $10 million and construction is expected to be finished next fall.