Clown Motel in Tonopah going up for sale

The iconic Clown Motel in Tonopah, that’s been drawing enthusiasts from all over the world, is going on the market.

Motel owner Bob Perchetti, a Tonopah native, said he is currently finalizing the paperwork and will put the world-renowned property on the market next week. Perchetti, who often mans the front desk, said he is looking forward to his retirement.

“I just turned 79 (years old) four days ago, and I think it’s time for me to spend time with my grandkids,” Perchetti said in a phone interview.

In addition, Perchetti said he wants to organize a clown convention that would bring clowns from clown clubs across the U.S. to Tonopah.

“I want to make sure it never ends,” he said about the clown theme in town.

Perchetti purchased the motel for $650,000 22 years ago, after he retired from his state job and has been running the property since then. He is hoping to get around $900,000 for the motel.

The venue doesn’t have any potential buyers yet, but Perchetti said he has already had calls from interested parties.

Landmark site

For years, the Clown Motel has been one of the main landmarks in Tonopah, as it’s been attracting clown enthusiasts and ghost seekers from all over the world. Perchetti said he amassed a collection of 600 clowns throughout the hotel thanks to their help.

“People have been sending clowns from all over the world,” Perchetti said. “Two days ago, I had a lady who sent me 40 clowns from Georgia. I just keep the collection going, that’s what we are going to do.”

The motel’s decor features a unique assembly of clowns in all sizes and shapes. A life-size clown slumped in a chair greets visitors at the lobby surrounded by smaller clowns lined up on every shelf across the wall. The motel’s rooms feature clowns’ portraits on their walls.

Perchetti said his establishment is a rarity for Tonopah, a historic mining town halfway between Las Vegas and Reno that often serves as a pit stop for truckers and long-term haulers.

“It’s a historic mining town, and the last place where you will find a clown motel,” Perchetti.

Attracting attention

The Clown Motel is situated next to the Old Tonopah Cemetery and has been dubbed “America’s scariest motel.” Still, Perchetti said the venue attracts plenty of visitors.

“We have 10-15 people a day coming in taking pictures with the clowns,” Perchetti said.

The location of the Clown Motel has helped to generate more interest on the Internet, as it has been profiled in national publications such as Slate Magazine, Huffington Post and the Los Angeles Times. Ghost Adventures has also filmed an episode at the motel.

Perchetti said he wants to make sure clowns remain at the motel even after he sells it.

“I want to make sure clowns stay in the business. I want to come back and say ‘hello’ to my clowns,” Perchetti said.

The Clown Motel is at 521 North Main Street in Tonopah.

Contact reporter Daria Sokolova at On Twitter: @dariasokolova77

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