The Airway Motel was built in the 1930s and continued construction through the early 1940s.  The office was originally a convenience store, for locals to purchase milk and other household items.  Kate Smith and her husband owned and operated the motel for 60 years.  Evans Phelps purchased the motel in 1997.  After an extensive remodel, the newly refurbished motel was re-opened as the Outside Inn in June 1998.  Evans retired and transferred the business to her daughter, Erin Thiem in 2011.  Now the business is run by Erin and her husband Dan Thiem.  Being a family owned and operated motel has always been important here, and we look forward to continuing that tradition.  The Outside Inn feels like our guests are part of our family and we enjoy the high number of repeat guests who come back year after year.

A note from Erin:

We are passionate about our support of the community and do what we can to help support local organizations, businesses and events.  I feel that if Nevada City is a growing, thriving community, that not only does the Outside Inn benefit, but the whole area.  My work through the Outside Inn’s blog, InnSide Nevada City, shows my dedication to promoting our community.  I have been called an ambassador, a cultural reporting team and a tireless supporter of Nevada City, whatever the title may be, all of us at the Outside Inn love our community and are proud to share it with  locals and visitors.

And we are extremely excited about the Inn Town Campground, click here for more information about our vision on that project and why we decided Nevada City needed a campground.

The Outside Inn continues the tradition of being a strong supporter of our local community.  In 2018 we continued our sponsorships of the Barbara Schmidt Millar Triathlon, KVMR, The Center for the Arts, Nevada City Cub Scouts, Wild & Scenic Film Festival, Chinese New Year’s Celebration, 49er Rotary Duck Race and Nevada City Film Festival.  Through the Outside Inn’s blog and social media outlets we actively promote local events, organizations and businesses on a numerous platforms.  We believe in our community and do our best to stay involved with as many events we can.

For donation requests, please click here and send in application to

You can also find me on InstagramFacebookTwitter as well as all the social media outlets for the Inn Town Campground.