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Remembering Happier Days at the Skylark Motel

Walt Stevens stands near the fire-damaged Skylark Motel on March 16, 2017. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
Walt Stevens stands near the fire-damaged Skylark Motel on March 16, 2017. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)

In the aftermath of the deadly blaze that tore through the Skylark Motel, some people are remembering the early days of the business.

 

Times were different in the Triple Cities in the 1960s when the motel was opened by Orval Stevens.

Walt Stevens, Orval’s son, spent a few minutes outside the charred shell of the motel two days after the fire recalling how busy the place was shortly after it opened its doors.

Stevens said he often turned on the “No Vacancy” sign on Sunday nights and turned it of on Friday mornings. That’s because the motel was filled during the week with salesman from IBM and other area businesses.

Speaking on WNBF Radio’s Binghamton Now program, Stevens said the motel itself consisted of prefabricated units built in Parsons, Kansas. More than a dozen individual units were transported to Broome County by rail. They then were moved to the site behind the Skylark Diner on the Vestal Parkway where the complex was assembled.

Stevens said for a time in the 1970s, Broome Dusters hockey players lived on the second floor of the motel. He said they were “a little rowdy at night.”

Stevens said: “We had a lot of fun there over the years.”

Provided by Walt Stevens
A promotional advertisement for the planned motel on the Vestal Parkway. (Provided by Walt Stevens)
A clipping of a story from The Evening Press about the planned Skylark Motel. (Provided by Walt Stevens)
A clipping of a story from The Evening Press about the planned Skylark Motel. (Provided by Walt Stevens)

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