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No clowning around: Nevada clown motel for sale

August 7, 2017
Kai James, 9, glances over at the life-size clown known as "Mr. Creepy" in the lobby of the Clown Motel in Tonopah on Tuesday, July 25, 2017. James came with his brother and mother from Las Vegas to stay for a night and dressed up in clown attire. (Patrick Connolly/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP)
Kai James, 9, glances over at the life-size clown known as "Mr. Creepy" in the lobby of the Clown Motel in Tonopah on Tuesday, July 25, 2017. James came with his brother and mother from Las Vegas to stay for a night and dressed up in clown attire. (Patrick Connolly/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP)

TONOPAH, Nev. (AP) — A clown-themed motel is for sale in rural Nevada, with the owner insisting the 600 clown figurines, mannequins and paintings, and his employees, get to stay.

After 22 years, the Clown Motel owner Bob Perchetti says it is time to find someone else to look after the clown figurines, mannequins and paintings spread throughout the building in Tonopah, about 250 miles northwest of Las Vegas.

The 79-year-old Perchetti said he is ready to “enjoy some free time” with his wife, five daughters, three sons and 14 grandchildren.

Perchetti told the Las Vegas Review-Journal (http://bit.ly/2u0kyAr ) that he hopes to sell the motel in a month, but he is insistent the clowns stay.

“I’m not going to let them change the clown motif,” he said. “That’s going to be part of the contract.”

The motel was built around 1985 by siblings Leona and LeRoy David, Perchetti said.

The two thought it was the perfect place to house their small clown collection.

“He and his sister decided from day one that it was going to be the Clown Motel,” Perchetti said.

Perchetti bought the motel from the Davids in 1995.

The motel got a major boost in 2015 when it was featured in an episode of the TV show “Ghost Adventures.”

Viewers saw blurry footage of a life-sized clown mannequin sitting by the front desk. The mannequin’s hand moved on its own.

“After that was when we started getting a lot more activity,” Perchetti said. “A lot more people stopping.”

Perchetti said he wants the new owner to at least interview his current employees so they can keep their jobs.

He said he’s already had more than seven offers to buy the building.

“They can improve it any way they want, but we don’t want to lose the clown motel,” he said. “We want it to be bigger and better.”

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