Here’s the sketch of the final version of the sign for the Cliffside Motor Inn. There was never any reason for the Cliffside to be where it is–surrounded by farms, far off the main road and not near any tourist sights of note, but there’s no reason to think it wasn’t a thriving business in its day: a sturdy little cinderblock u plan drive up motel with a pool in the courtyard. The sign was originally a fairly expensive one with bright lights and some neon.
By the time of story present, the Cliffside has been out of business for years, although recently the young steampunk engineer who calls himself Edison has taken it over and is converting it into his Radio Laboratory. I am not sure whether this story takes place before or after Edison’s takeover, but my guess is he just doesn’t happen to be home on this particular afternoon.