Several locations were used in location filming. The two main populated areas used were Plainview (north of Lubbock) and Groom (Panhandle). Think of Groom as a real-life Radiator Springs (in "Cars"). A formerly bustling but now hard luck town fading rapidly after The Mother Road US-66 was superseded by The Interstate (I-40). When filming took place there in 1992, Groom still had numerous businesses, although fewer than in its heyday. I recall sitting with the advance scouting crew, including the first Executive Producer in the restaurant of one of the 2 motels still in operation there. When the waitress brought California-boy his chicken fried steak and mashed potatoes he just stared at it in shock and bewilderment. It wasn't anything he'd ever encountered before. It wasn't a Santa Monica meal, apparently. Considering that a sub-theme of the movie was the culture clash between the townies and the Evangelist roadies, it was 6
The Golden Spread motel sign (get it? "Golden Spread"? Like a funny name for a sleazy hot sheet motel... California minds thought it was a screamingly funny name and thus HAD to be the name for the motel for the movie) seen in the film was borrowed (leased) from that motel and carted down and re-erected at the 2nd motel in town which was used for the motel location. Also at that second motel the second story was specially built just for this movie, the motel before having been only a single story. Apparently the angle shot for seeing Debra Winger from below was considered artistically crucial for the movie so they spent about $200K for just that reason (yes, Hollywood. Amazing minds.) The interior of the second story was never finished out. After filming, the "Golden Spread" motel sign was returned to the first motel and replaced at the second motel by a sign that said "Movie Motel".
Both motels are now vacant lots. Most businesses in Groom are now closed. The town continues to decay.