Matt and Mike French
It was country before country was cool, and now it’s redefining the west for travelers from around the globe.
“We want to be the door to the desert,” Mike told The New York Times.
Thanks to brothers Mike and Matt French who purchased and renovated the property in 2014, the Pioneertown Motel is the only official lodging in Pioneertown, Calif., an unincorporated community of the Morongo Basin region of San Bernardino's High Desert.
“To me, Pioneertown is one of the most special places on the West Coast. It really embodies that spirit of the west,” French told The Independent. “There’s this sense of removal that you normally only get when you travel internationally – that feeling where you forget where your cellphone is. It’s kind of like you get to be a kid again here.”
Pioneertown, with a budding population of 420, is an old Western movie set come to life. Yes, we’re serious.
Since 1946, the Pioneertown Motel has been a safe place to land for wearied travelers and, recently, music festival junkies. The 19-room property was built as a sound structure, unlike movie sets 125 miles to the west, to house talent, crew, and film tycoons. It’s said Gene Autry played poker until sunrise in Room #9. Given, the property was originally created as a waypost for movie stars of old Westerns, we’re buying it.
Should you know of Pioneertown? The truth is, you’ve more-than-likely seen it tagged on Instagram during Coachella or during an invite-only A-list event. Only 30 miles north of Palm Springs it’s a hub for creatives, entrepreneurs, people sick and tired of clocking their salaried jobs, et al. It’s where you go because phone service is poor.
Why do we love Matt and Mike?
They saw an opportunity and seized it, embraced it, and leveled it up. The Pioneertown Motel isn’t incredible because it looks like everywhere else. It’s incredible because it’s 1946 reimagined. It’s where a family of five from nowhere Nebraska can check-in next to the 2019 version of Gene Autry and no one in town would flinch. It’s a safe haven for all kinds of kinds.