No Tell Motel
There is a set of shady and conspicuous ruins that are crumbling to pieces just outside the bustle of Rutland City, and its neighbors aren’t giving them so much love. As these buildings become disfigured by neglect, and the decay spreads from the first patches of mold to crumbling plaster and collapsing roofs, they become black eyes of the community and act as silent invitations for suspicious activity. In this constellation of dead places, there is a shopping plaza, a burger stand, a gas station and a motel, connected by patchworks of parking lots turning into weed pits. One commonality forever links all of these places together; they all wear the name Flory, which would account for the many locals who refer to this aging stain as “Floryville”
Perhaps the most interesting place in this collection of decrepitude is Flory’s Motel; a simple 2 story rectangular building with collapsing balconies and broken windows. Opening in 1968, it sold itself as a family destination in the heart of Vermont’s ski country. At the time, Rutland had a booming tourism industry which was fueled by the allures of the nearby ski resorts of Pico and High Pond. (Killington would later follow in 1958) The commercial strips of Routes 4 and 7 became lined with motels and restaurants that would cater to the skiers and families.
But times changed, as new homogenized chain hotels were built along the Route 7 strip, and the glitzy hotels and mountain chalets of Killington opened their doors. That, and a new portion of Route 4 was constructed around 1986, creating an interstate type highway which bypassed Rutland south of Route 7, all the way to Whitehall, New York, making travel through western part of the city now unnecessary. With new competition and Rutland’s declining reputation, Flory’s Motel eventually closed around 1989. But it wasn’t just the motel. It seems that the entire Flory empire fell into ruin at one point, leaving nothing but decaying husks along Route 4 as an unceremonious eulogy to the family name.
Now, With its rampant fungus and collapsing floors, there’s no chance that the motel will ever be reopened.
Since it’s closing, most anything of value has been stolen. Copper wiring has been stripped from the building and it has become a haven for druggies and the homeless. The thought of human habitation in this foul place seems absurd. And yet, in the lonely rooms smoldering in darkness and mildew, there were piles of new Arizona jeans, cases of bottled water and bed sheets for curtains. In one room, a butcher knife was stabbed deep within the rotting plaster, a poignant welcome.
The floors are rotting away, some too dangerous to walk on. Most of the lobby could disintegrate into the black cellar below at any moment. The busted juke box in the corner never playing that song from yesteryear when everything was alright. The balconies are too treacherous to walk on now, and could collapse with just the right amount of weight. Flory’s Motel was a dangerous location to visit. The structural decay and the possibility of running into a suspicious (and most likely dangerous) character made this one of the most perilous locations I’ve ever explored.
But there is something to be said here. Though dangerous and imposing, the motel offers a more melancholy look into Rutland’s past, a relic of yesteryear and showpiece of a community fallen on hard times.
As of recently, there was a fire that broke out in the motel. Could this be the end to Floryville? Only time will tell. But I bet the neighbors won’t miss it.
*special thanks to Carolynn Ranftle from the Rutland Historical society for providing me with the information used in this article.
Flory’s Motel in its heyday:
Flory’s Motel Today (Spring 2012):
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