Palms is the first motel in a strip of seven motels you'll see along Interstate Avenue, heading north from the city of Portland (see my review of Palms for more info). The second motel, about three blocks past Palms, is the Economy Inn.
I've stayed at Palms three times and Economy Inn twice. Considering that Palms gives you a fantastic 100+ channel satellite TV system and very reliable wireless Internet access at room rates of $45 to $50, Economy Inn should be priced a bit lower in order to be competitive. Economy Inn does not have wireless Internet, and has only about 20 cable TV channels; the room quality and cleanliness is about the same as Palms; and they offer the same rates as Palms. I would expect that they'd offer a $5 to $10 lower rate to lure business from Palms but they don't. Perhaps I don't yet fully understand the mechanics of the Interstate Avenue motel system.
The first time I went to Economy Inn, I was just inquiring about their rates. A very nice gentleman with a shaved head was eager to rent me a room although I did not want to rent a room at that time. Economy Inn has about 20 rooms (compared to the Palms 50 or 60 rooms). When I came back about a week later and did want to rent a room, a young woman who I think is his wife seemed to not want to rent me a room and was a bit hostile. All businesses have the right to "refuse service to anyone" so I don't get the hostility. You can either send me away to spend my money at one of the other six Interstate Avenue motels, or be nice and rent me a room. Being hostile and renting me a room seems contradictory.
Economy Inn is a bit run down and old like Palms, has a refrigerator and microwave like Palms, can be a bit noisy at times like Palms. I've also stayed at the Viking Motel on Interstate and it's starting to look like these seven Interstate Avenue motels are nearly duplicates of each other. I plan on staying at the other four hotels this year and will post reviews.
One thing I liked about Economy Inn is that they asked me whether or not I needed housekeeping. I'm a very neat person and prefer not to be disturbed by housekeeping. So this is a nice feature Palms doesn't offer. When you check in you can tell them you don't need housekeeping.
One kind of annoying thing, however, is that they call you up at 10 am on your chekout date and ask you if you are "staying over or checking out." Most motels and hotels have an 11 am checkout time but Economy Inn's checkout time is 10:30. And they call you to remind you.
Most travelers who are used to spending around $100 per night for fancy places like the Marriott and Hilton won't like Economy Inn... but it's fairly clean and more importantly, I've never seen any bugs there or in Palms (cockroaches or bed bugs would be quite disturbing.) If you're travelling and need a sub-$50 hotel in Portland, I recommend Economy Inn. Or if you live in Portland and have an argument with your roommate or something, this is a good place to get away from them for awhile.
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