A man identified only as Tony has mysteriously acquired a sign that (allegedly) used to glow outside one of Atlanta’s most iconic haunts—and he wants to sell it.
“CLERMONT HOTEL,” reads the 9-foot-long beacon that for years sat atop the “MOTOR HOTEL” sign in front of Poncey-Highland’s decades-old strip joint and now-closed inn.
Initially advertised Wednesday on Craigslist with a $400 asking price, the sign is now on eBay. As of press time, the highest bid stands at just over $3,000.
People really want a piece of this action. “I must have it priced too low,” Tony told Curbed Atlanta in an email, soon after more than 100 people inquired about the historic artifact listed on Craigslist.
The story of how Tony came to possess this slice of Atlanta history, however, is a weird one.
“I bought it off the back of a truck at Newell Recycling,” he told Curbed. “A scrap metal guy had it on his trailer and had no idea what he had,” he said. “I gave him $50 for it, and he was glad to get it, lol.”
Tony’s also vying to snag the rest of the sign, he said, which sounds like he wants that MOTOR HOTEL piece, too.
“I’ve got first dibs on buying the rest of the sign, and I don’t want to rat out my contact,” he said. “Every picker in town will be beating on his door if I do.”
Tony said he thinks his sign is one of a few hung since Clermont Hotel was built in 1924. This one, he thinks, likely came from the 1980s. “So it sat in a scrapyard at a local sign shop for however long and it ended up with this metal scrapper,” he said.
Said Tony: “Funny; I got lucky, huh?”
(After extensive renovations, Hotel Clermont is set to reopen in late May, and reservations can be made now on its website.)