Then and Now: Trade Winds Motel

view original post

The Trade Winds Motel opened on Third Avenue in 1962, coinciding with the popularity of South Seas -themed kitsch and a boom in motel building around Spokane.

The Trade Winds was built by Henry Lackman, a World War II veteran who grew up in Montana and studied agronomy at Montana State College. After the war, he worked in agriculture for a few years, then moved to Spokane and started investing in rental properties on Spokane’s South Hill. In 1951, he bought a “motor court,” an early term for travelers’ lodgings, at Sixth Avenue and Cannon Street and renamed it Lackman’s Motel.

Lackman spent approximately $500,000 to build the Trade Winds on land leased from the Brotherhood of Friends club, which owned the BOF building on the same block. It had 60 rooms on four stories curved around a small outdoor pool.

Lackman also built apartments on the South Hill in 1969 and the Trade Winds North motel at Division Avenue and Euclid Street in 1973.

Also in 1962, several motels were under construction or opening in Spokane, including the Desert Saharan Motor Hotel at First Avenue and Post Street. The $1 million structure opened with 78 rooms and a rooftop pool. It replaced the former Desert Hotel.

Also starting construction that year was the Ridpath Motor Inn at First Avenue and Stevens Street, which replaced the longstanding Spokane Hotel. The motor inn was connected to the Ridpath tower with a bridge over First Avenue.

All these new lodging options were oriented toward visitors who were arriving by car and not on trains.

The Lackman family operated the Trade Winds as a motel until the mid-1990s, then transitioned to cheaper long-term rentals. Henry Lackman died in 2010 at the age of 91, and the family closed the building when the land lease ran out in 2012.

Real estate investors Mike Pinch and Dave Black formed a partnership and bought the rundown property, looking for options to sell, trade or restore the former motel. In 2016, a partnership led by David Malik, a developer from Renton, Washington, took over the building for the restoration. The building, without the pool, is now the Baymont Inn and Suites, also called Baymont by Wyndham.