I just watched a video where a guy tried to claim that the hotel or motel room he was going to meet somebody at and pay for costs "$15", in the USA. I assume he means "per night".

While money is not worth almost anything compared to what it used to, is fifteen US dollars that really "suspiciously" cheap?

I remember an old TV episode called "Man in a four-dollar room", which was apparently a cheap USA "hotel" (more like apartment) room in the 1960s. Even that seemed like a high price to me for the time and how much you could get for a "quarter" or "dime" in those days.

If I have to pay far more than $15 per night, I could definitely not stay long anywhere in the USA (or probably anywhere in the "rich" world).

  • 5
    Yes, this is unthinkably low for basically any area in the U.S. In many places, it'd be unthinkable to pay less than $150/night for a hotel room, but there are plenty of areas where you'd pay in the region of $50 - $100/night for a room. Commented Jun 7, 2020 at 12:49
  • 2
    As another data point, Expedia shows a small selection of rooms for under $40/night, but even these are all $30+. Even a hostel will probably start around $20/night
    – chepner
    Commented Jun 7, 2020 at 13:37
  • 6
    What is the date of the video, though? Prices have changed a lot over past decades. For instance, there's a chain of budget motels named "Motel 6". which got its name because it originally (in 1960) charged $6/night: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motel_6
    – jamesqf
    Commented Jun 7, 2020 at 17:25
  • 3
    This might be better suited to Travel than personal finance. The USA is a big place with highly varying costs depending on where you are, so it's possible a room could be that cheap somewhere, though it's definitely not the norm. You could also try searching travel sites to see typical hotel prices in the areas you're interested in.
    – Kat
    Commented Jun 7, 2020 at 20:53
  • I’m voting to close this question because mopve to Travel.SE, questions about hourly rates, in fictional cinema, for prostitution hotels, are - generally speaking - completely irrelevant here
    – Fattie
    Commented Jun 27, 2020 at 11:47

1 Answer 1


Perhaps you assumed wrong that the price was 15 dollars a night, maybe it was 15 dollars a hour. After all the guy in your movie was using the hotel room not to sleep but to meet someone.

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