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The vision behind Nike 6.0's Motel No Tell in San Clemente

By Tiffany Montgomery
September 01, 2009 5:55 AM

Nike 6.0 continued its investment and marketing push in the action sports industry this summer by renting a San Clemente motel for four months. "Motel No Tell" hosted a variety of events, from movie screenings, band performances and art shows, to free yoga classes for the community and surf lessons for inner city kids.

Here, Nike 6.0 Associate Brand Manager Zach Boon shares the vision behind the Motel No Tell, some key features of the space, and how the motel will be in full force during the Hurley WCT event at Trestles.

Motel lobbyWhat is the vision behind the motel?

The vision behind The Motel No Tell was to deliver what we already do as a brand in a unique and innovative manner. We have always supported our athletes in everything they do, so having a hub for them in the summer by Trestles was one aspect of the spot. Nike 6.0 and Hurley are involved with all the surf events down at Lowers, so being part of the community on a deeper level than 15 days out of the year is what this project is about. Besides the surf athletes, the snow athletes love to come surf in the summer, and it's close to a lot of the magazine headquarters.

(Above: Nike 6.0 product in the lobby.)

Most of all though, The Motel No Tell gave us the opportunity to really inspire and enrich kids during the summer months. The goal is to build a hub for them to express themselves in ways that they may have not imagined, but feel is catered just to them and their interests.

The beauty of having 16 doors to play with around events, workshops, and collections just adds to the experience and discovery.

Motel t-shirt makingWhat are some of the key features of the motel?

There are a few key features were continual through the project. The Showroom is one of those. It is where we offer our latest and most limited products, but it goes beyond that. Instead of just offering product, the space will offer complete customization to those pieces. A laser machine, dye sublimation, artists during events, and NikeID online shoe design offers the chance for someone to make something totally custom and personal on site.

(Above: Teens from Los Angeles learn about making T-shirts)

Each renovated motel room is inspired by a different artist or athlete, for instance one room is painted with murals by Jimbo Phillips who created the artwork for our Pier Pressure Pro Jr surf event.

Nike surf lessonsWhat are some of the community programs held at the motel?

It's been very rewarding to see how the local communities have really been the key behind the Motel No Tell. From hosting free yoga sessions with Rochelle Ballard to working with Soleo to provide free skin cancer screenings for anyone, we've done a lot to bring out the community and we've seen a lot of support.

(Above: Surf lessons, part of Stoked Mentoring's partnership with Nike 6.0 at the Motel No Tell.)

We also used the motel as a headquarters to teach at-risk youth to surf with a recent partnership with Stoked Mentoring. We created 6 Days of Stoked, a six-part series of learn-to-surf days and creative workshops. The month long initiative bussed approximately twenty high school students, age 14-18, from inner city LA to San Clemente twice a week, utilizing surfing and art to teach confidence and the life skills needed to succeed. Each Saturday was an in-water surf day. Each Tuesday was a workshop at the motel, which included painting, and sublimating custom t-shirts with artist Madsteez and learning about photography from top surf photographers.

It was incredible to be introduce a new group of kids to surfing and art as a positive influence.

Did you have to rent the hotel for the whole summer? Was it already empty?

We were lucky enough to be working with a great owner of the property who understood the concept from the start. He is a local surfer and working with him helped us open up the availability for leasing his motel for the four-month period. There were tenants here like any other motel, but the transition time was seamless in getting in to start construction once the City of San Clemente green lighted everything. We are wrapping up the summer with the Hurley WCT event at Trestles. The Motel will close on Sept. 20th.

Zach BoonWhy use a hotel in San Clemente?

Although we are already invested in the community in San Clemente through events, athletes, and nonprofit partners - we really asked ourselves where the best destination for the Motel No Tell would be.

Huntington Beach is the Times Square of Action Sports. It is where the brightest billboards, biggest shops, and most people go to experience the beach during the summer. So, it could have made sense to go there.

As we really honed in on what the Motel No Tell idea was all about, we kept coming back to the theme of quality and personal experience. San Clemente and Trestles host the best performance wave in North America - Lowers. The heritage of the sport, industry, and media greatly came out of that end of OC since Duke came through. If HB is the Time Square, San Clemente is the Lower Eastside or Greenwich Village and offers the highest level of experience to the top level of enthusiasts.

(Above: Nike 6.0 Associate Brand Manager Zach Boon)

What else can we expect at the motel in its final days?

The Motel No Tell will serve as an athlete and media hub during the Hurley WCT event at Trestles (Sept. 13-19th.) Surfers Michel Bourez, Kai Barger, and Carissa Moore will be staying here for the duration. We are also hosting a 30-year retrospective of original Gonzalez work, from Sept. 5th through closing as well as premiering our new wakeskate team film, Aquafrolics. The programming is very robust and the best way to be in the know is to register at www.themotelnotell.com to receive info on all upcoming events.


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