De Swan Motel
Detroit, MI
Cadet Motor Inn
Coldwater, MI

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Ease into the friendly town of Coldwater and look to your right. Sure enough, a metal soldier lifts a mechanical neon hand, saluting your arrival to the Cadet Motor Inn. If you’re very lucky, the lobby may still be open. The Cadet opened in 1963 as an investment and, particularly in the past decade, has become a genuine Mom and Pop motel. Starting in their early twenties Matt and Jenny Stritzinger refurbished the Cadet, tossing out the drug dealers and prostitutes, and removing the tacky facade to open the rooms to the outside, befitting an authentic roadside motel. The Stritzinger’s have had plenty of franchise opportunities, folks from the highway chains looking to bolt their plastic logo onto the prime location. Matt refuses their entreaties every time: “If I’m gonna run my own business, I don’t need somebody in a franchise sticking their nose in, telling me what I want to do and don’t want to do.”

All text copyright Andrew Wood. Photos copyright Jenny Wood and Andy Wood.