The Bates Motel was a small, local motel operated by Norman Bates.
The Bates Motel was built around 1948 by Norma Bates and her lover, Chet Rudolph (Joe Considine in the novels) next to their house. After Norman poisoned them both, he inherited ownership of the motel. In the early 50s, two women who stayed here tried to seduce Norman, who later killed them on the orders of his mother (who he had developed a sided-personality based on).
One night in December 1959, a realty secretary named Marion Crane stopped for the night after stealing $40,000 from her boss. By this time, business had been slow, thanks to the new highway which directed most traffic away from the motel. Norman found himself attracted to her, sending "Mother" into a jealous rage. He and "Mother" argued about Norman inviting her for dinner. Later that night, "Mother" snuck into Marion's room while she showered, and stabbed her to death. A few minutes after that, Norman discovered Marion's corpse. Horrified, he began cleaning up the mess, including mopping the blood from the bathroom, putting her body in the trunk of her car, and pushing the car into a lake nearby.
A week later, Norman encountered Milton Arbogast, a private investigator looking for Marion, just before he was about to change the linen in the cabins. Arbogast asked him a few questions about Marion spending the night there, which Norman somewhat dishonestly answered. After that, Arbogast left, but returned sometime later to confront Bates's mother, where Norman (dressed up as "Mother") killed him and left his body in the swamp.
Noticing that Arbogast disappeared, Marion's lover Sam Loomis and sister Lila came to the motel looking for Marion. After renting a cabin, they searched Cabin 1, the room Marion stayed. After finding evidence that she was there, Lila went up to the house to question Mrs. Bates on Marion's whereabouts (as hinted by Norman when being interrogated by Arbogast) while Sam attempted to distract Norman. Uneasy, Norman remained confrontational while talking with Sam, and figured out that Lila went into his house. He attempted to attack her as "Mother", but was disarmed by Sam, and arrested.
During his institutionalization, Norman's motel was left to Warren Toomey, who was hired by the state board to run the motel in Norman's absence. Under his control, the business was restructured as an "adult motel", with parties and drugs, which made the motel profitable. After twenty-two years, Norman was released from the mental institution, and, horrified of what Toomey did, fired him, much to Toomey's dismay. Norman tried to fix it up by repainting it yellow. At the end, after he killed his "real" mother, Emma Spool, "she" ordered him to open the motel once more.
One month later, Norman still ran the motel. One day, an ambitious but sleazy musician named Duane Duke arrived at the motel, where Norman had put up a Help Wanted sign. He was hired by Bates to manage the register. When a young nun named Maureen Coyle arrived, Duke charged her $25 and signed her into Cabin 1, much to Norman's horror (as she reminded him of Marion Crane, who he had killed in that cabin years earlier). After Maureen's death, Norman was re-institutionalized, and the management of the motel was left unknown.
Years later, Bates was released from the institution once again. After marrying a nurse named Connie, Norman left the motel, which was left derelict and therefore being prepared for demolition. One night, during his call to a talk-show specializing on matricide, the motel was shown in flashbacks, in much better and newer conditions. After he decided to burn down the house where all of his unhappiness sprouted from, he and his wife Connie left forever. It is more than likely that Norman abandoned the motel for good, ending up with it being destroyed afterwards.