With the Highlander Motor Inn in its final days, the 57-year-old motel was paid one last visit over the weekend by long-time fans.
About 100 members of the motorcycle club Boozefighters rolled up on Saturday afternoon to pay their respects to the place they’ve stayed and partied at every Memorial Day weekend since 1992 while participating in Rolling Thunder.
The Boozefighters were first founded in 1946 by World War II veterans.
“[The Highlander] let us get away with stuff that other hotels wouldn’t have,” says Jeff Thompson, president of the Falls Church chapter of the Boozefighters. “Wonderful memories. It was important for us to say goodbye.”
In honor of the Boozefighters’ long-time patronage of the Arlington motel, they will be getting the iconic neon sign that has welcomed passersby on Wilson Blvd. The sign will come down next week, owner Billy Bayne confirms, at which point the club will take it to their museum in Fort Worth, Texas.
For decades over Memorial Day weekend, Highlander Motor Inn was the site of hundreds of motorcycles and veterans from around the country, barbequing and reminiscing in the parking lot.
Bayne — who also owns the Crystal City Restaurant gentlemen’s club — says the group rented the motel every year and it was a “big party,” which the hotel was happy to host.
CVS was expected to take possession of the Highlander and begin demolition this month, but that has been delayed. According to Bayne, April 13 is now the new target date for this to happen.
Bayne’s family operated the motel since the early 1960s, before shuttering it earlier this year. Bayne still owns the land the motel sits on.
One of the Highlander’s last acts was as temporary COVID-related housing. In April 2020, Arlington’s Dept. of Human Services rented out the entire motel to provide quarantine and isolation space for low-income individuals living in overcrowded or congregate settings.
Beyond keeping the sign, members of the Boozefighters were allowed to spray paint and ride their bikes inside of the motel, as well as take a few other mementos.
“Only because it’s being torn down,” Jackie Bayne, Billy Bayne’s sister, told ARLnow. She dubbed the raucous sendoff “The Highlander Swan Song.”
Thompson says said he kept a room key, a key chain, and the number off of the door of the room he’s stayed in for the last 20 years.
“I’m very sad to see it go,” he said. “Billy and Jackie were such gracious hosts. “We wouldn’t have been able to do this at any other hotel.”
View this post on Instagram
View this post on Instagram
Photos courtesy of Boozefighters Falls Church chapter/Simon Vansteyn
In loving memory of Joseph Robert Kapacziewski, who passed away in 2023 at the age of 41.
In loving memory of James Stuart Edmonds, who passed away in 2023 at the age of 84.
A man was shot in front of a lounge on Columbia Pike early this morning, continuing a string of violent incidents.
Good Friday evening, Arlington. Today we published articles that were read a total of 17124 times… so far. 📈 Top stories The following are the most-read articles for today —…
YULA’s ultimate frisbee spring season is now open for registration. We offer programs for middle and high schoolers – open to all players, whether they are new or have previous experience.Middle SchoolIn the Middle School league, mixed-gender teams practice once during the week and have games on Sunday afternoons. Spring league is a fun, safe, and positive environment. The season begins mid-March and wraps up with a tournament in early June. There are several options for practice days, so we can often work around schedule conflicts with other sports & activities.High SchoolThe High School program is organized by school of attendance and teams are classified by gender. New players will learn the basics in a supportive, welcoming environment. Experienced players will continue to develop their skills, and enjoy competition with other high school programs. The season concludes with a state level championship tournament in late May.All players are guided by experienced coaches who emphasize sportsmanship and good spirit. Ultimate is a fun sport with great camaraderie!YULA does not want finances to limit anyone from participating. Our middle school program offers a “Pay What You Can” cost structure and our our high school program is offering a $50 discount to new players.Visit our website to register and learn more. Sign up with a friend, but don’t delay, the season starts in March!http://www.yula-ulti.org
The Arlington-Aachen High School exchange is returning this summer and currently accepting applicants.
The sister-city partnership started in 1993 by the Arlington Sister Cities Association, which seeks to promote Arlington’s international profile through a variety of exchanges in education, commerce, culture and the arts. The exchange, scheduled June 17th to July 4th, includes a two-week homestay in Aachen plus three days in Berlin. Knowledge of the German language is not required for the trip.
Former participants have this to say:
_”The Aachen exchange was an eye-opening experience where I was fully immersed in the life of a German student. I loved biking through the countryside to Belgium, having gelato and picnics in the town square, and hanging out with my German host student’s friends. My first time out of the country, the Aachen exchange taught me to keep an open mind, because you never know what could be a life changing experience.” – Kelly M._
Valentine gifts for someone special or for yourself are here at George Mason University from noon -4pm on February 14, 2023. Satisfy your sweet tooth with Kingsbury Chocolates, find a handmade bag from Karina Gaull, pick up treats from Village