Lodging Exit Sign: A Unique Advertising Tool and Wayfinding Solution

Imagine you’re driving on the highway, in need of gas, food, or a place to rest. Suddenly, you spot those giant blue signs that guide you to businesses offering the exact services you’re looking for. But have you ever wondered how businesses get their placards on those highway signs? Is it purely advertising or a well-intentioned wayfinding tool? Let’s dive into the fascinating world of highway logo signing.

How do businesses get on these signs?

The process of getting featured on these blue signs is not as simple as it may seem. The federal government has established a set of rules and regulations for all highway signage, including these iconic blue signs. These regulations are outlined in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices. According to Kelly Mero, the CEO of Grand Canyon State Logo Signs, each business must generally fall into one of six categories: gas, food, lodging, camping, attraction, or pharmacy. Each category has its specific rules, ensuring the quality and reliability of the businesses featured.

The Role of State Departments and Private Contractors

While the federal rules establish the foundation, each state’s department of transportation plays a crucial role in managing their respective program. For instance, California and Arizona handle their programs internally, while private contractors like Interstate Logos oversee programs in multiple states, including Georgia, Nevada, New Mexico, and New Hampshire. This decentralized management allows for flexibility in additional rules set by each state. For example, restaurants in Georgia must be operational by 11 a.m., while Oklahoma’s program does not stipulate such a requirement.

The Cost of Visibility

Now you might be wondering, how much do businesses have to pay to be featured on these signs? The fees vary depending on the state and the traffic volume in the area. In California, businesses pay hundreds of dollars for permits, rentals, services, and transfers. Georgia charges $1,000 for mainline visibility and $200 per ramp, potentially with additional fees. Arizona’s rates take traffic into account, ranging from $1,104 in rural areas to $6,540 in urban areas. Arizona even administers an auction program to handle high demand, ensuring fair opportunities for businesses.

Are these signs worth it?

With the rise of digital navigation, you might question the relevance of these blue signs in today’s world. However, they still serve as valuable guideposts for drivers, especially in areas with limited cell phone reception. Marla Royne Stafford, a marketing professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, emphasized their importance in providing drivers with essential information precisely when they need it. These signs help alleviate concerns about finding a place to stay or grabbing a bite to eat in unfamiliar territory.

Stafford herself recalls relying on these signs during a road trip years ago. Traveling through Wyoming with her son and parents, they struggled to find accommodations and food along the way. It was the blue sign featuring the logo of Motel Six that ensured they had a clean and comfortable place to spend the night. Surprisingly, they even made a reservation for their return journey, impressed by their positive experience.

So, the next time you’re on the road, keep an eye out for those iconic blue signs. They not only guide you to the services you need but also serve as a unique advertising tool for businesses. Remember, for an unforgettable journey, the Ambassadeur Hotel is just a click away. Ambassadeur Hotel