Category Archives: Historic Hotels

Rehab begins on Florence’s historic Silver King Hotel

[Source: Mark Cowling, Florence Reminder] — Town officials, historic preservation advocates and officials of W.E. O’Neil Construction Company gathered Monday morning to celebrate the beginning of the second phase rehabilitation of the Silver King Hotel at Main and Ruggles streets. Kilvinger and other speakers expressed appreciation for the FPF and IDA for their work over the years to save historic buildings. “Thanks to the IDA, who first made this a historic town, and one of the premier historic towns in the state,” Kilvinger said. As for the Silver King, “We will work as hard as we can to make this a success,” she added.

[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: Florence Reminder. Pictured: Bonnie Bariola presents Jess Knudson, the town of Florence’s Silver King project manager, with a plaque to display in the finished building.]

Historic motel conversion, condo plan in Tucson dealt setbacks

[Source: Christie Smythe, Daily Star] — Development plans for the historic Ghost Ranch Lodge and the condominium complex One West failed to win federal low-income-housing tax credits, possibly killing one project and putting the other on hold. Mark Breen, a developer who planned to turn the Miracle Mile motel Ghost Ranch Lodge (pictured) into senior housing, said in an e-mail Thursday that without the credits, “I intend to demolish the buildings and put (a) used car lot on the property.”

“Shame on the state, for they knew my alternative plan,” he wrote. He did not return calls or e-mails seeking clarification on that statement. One West, a condo project planned for West Speedway and North Stone Avenue, will have to be pushed back another year, said Dave Ollanik, one of the development partners. The tax credit — worth $1 million each year for the next 10 years — would have been the single largest source of funding for the $31 million project, Ollanik said. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Hotel Jerome apartment project still possible

[Source: Philip Wright, Verde Valley News] — The idea of turning the old Hotel Jerome into modern, affordable-housing apartments is still alive. That is primarily through the efforts of Town Manager Brenda Man-Fletcher and a small cadre of Jerome residents who believe in the project. Man-Fletcher held a public information meeting Wednesday night in Town Hall. Her presentation was both to let people know what has been done and what might lie ahead. It’s all conceptual at this point. And Man-Fletcher isn’t making any promises.

She’s just trying to help the town figure out if the idea is viable or not. “We have a beautiful building,” Man-Fletcher said. “Right now it houses two art galleries. We have two floors that are completely unfinished.” She said when anyone tours those upper floors, flashlights must be used because there isn’t any electrical service. The building is home to the Jerome Artists Cooperative Gallery, founded more than a decade ago to showcase the work of area artists. One of the subbasements is used each summer for the Jerome Kids Art Workshop.

[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: Philip Wright, Verde Valley News.]

Cochise Hotel: A brief history

[Source: W. Lane Rogers, Range News] — Cochise was a watering stop for Southern Pacific steam locomotives and the junction point for the Eastern Arizona Railroad to Douglas. It was established in 1880 when a work force, composed largely of Chinese laborers, laid track from Tucson to the New Mexico border. Construction of the hotel (pictured), a rambling structure with sixteen-inch walls and a false front, was completed in 1882. It was built by Southern Pacific telegrapher John Rath as a boarding house for railroad workers. During its early days, it doubled as the local Wells Fargo office and, after 1897, served for a time as the Cochise post office. Legend has it that Big Nose Kate, mistress to Doc Holliday, worked for Rath between 1899 and 1900, prior to moving to Dos Cabezas where she lived out her life. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Florence will ‘pick up the pace’ on Silver King Hotel

[Source: Florence Reminder] — The town this summer will once more look for a contractor to complete rehabilitation on the historic Silver King Hotel, in hopes the slower economy will generate more affordable bids. Also holding down costs will be the town’s intention to leave the interior mostly unfinished, so a tenant may tailor it to his needs. An architect is at work on the revised plans, town officials said. When the town first sought proposals for completing the hotel’s restoration a couple of years ago, the bids came in at more than $1 million, which was double the available funding.

During a walking tour of the downtown historic district last Thursday, Town Manager Himanshu Patel told the gathering of about 40 people the finished project will be a “shell-type building” which can then be leased for retail or offices. The town’s ultimate goal remains “a viable reuse of the building and a vibrant downtown,” Patel said. Last year, the town had some discussions with three partners who were interested in completing the old hotel at Main and Ruggles for an Irish-themed restaurant and sports bar. But town officials “don’t foresee them coming to the table anytime soon” and believe “we need to pick up the pace,” Assistant to the Town Manager Jess Knudson said this week. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Belmont to be new home of Superior town government and chamber of commerce

[Source: Cindy Tracy,] — It’s official! Superior Town Hall is relocating to the Old Belmont Hotel, formerly known as the CAAG Building. The move was approved by Superior Town Council at its May 1 meeting. The historic Main Street building with its interesting history will also be home to the Superior Chamber of Commerce. The council approved a year-to-year lease agreement for the chamber to have a facility in the building that will be manned by volunteers. Interim Town Manager Melanie Oliver cited a possible fiscal impact of the move as $5000 for a new phone system with voice mail and $1500 in building repairs. She said the move would start within the month and be finalized by June 1.

Hotel Arnold in Benson

[Source: W. Lane Rogers, Arizona Range News] — In 1890, Alexander Arnold McGinnis and his wife Nora settled in Benson. Established by the Southern Pacific Railroad in 1880, Benson’s first decade witnessed a transition from a town made up largely of single male railroad workers to a more structured community of family homes, businesses, churches, a school, and social and fraternal organizations.

Benson was the hub city of railroads and travel in southern Arizona nearly always necessitated making a connection there. With all its hustle and bustle, it was a friendly town that welcomed travelers. It boasted at least two good restaurants and three hotels-the Trask House, Virginia, and Mansion. Still, the McGinnises determined that Benson could support another. Property north of the depot was purchased and in 1907, Hotel Arnold’s main building (pictured) was completed at a cost of $4,423. Built in an architectural style that would come to be called Anglo Territorial, the building contained 12 rooms. A double-roofed dwelling was constructed, as well a red brick building that housed four units, an adobe carriage house and half a dozen small cottages. Water was pumped from a well driven by a windmill and a rudimentary generator provided electricity years before the town enjoyed such luxury.

[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: Lane Rogers.]

Phoenix’s Hotel San Carlos not for sale, but seeks "partner"

[Source: AZCentral] — They aren’t using the word “sale,” but the family that owns Hotel San Carlos is looking for someone to take over day-to-day operations of the 80-year-old landmark. “We are looking for someone to join our family and to take Hotel San Carlos to the next level,” said Greg Melikian, who has owned the historic, the 121-room hotel on and off for 35 years. The price is negotiable, Melikian said, depending on who’s interested. The family would like to wrap up the transaction by the end of the year, but will hold out if they don’t find a suitable candidate, Melikian said.

Two things are driving the decision, the 83-year-old hotelier said. First, Melikian’s wife, Emma, is slowly losing her eyesight to macular degeneration. Melikian would like to take her on a trip around the world while she still has some vision left, he said. Also, Melikian says that he’d like more time to spend on Arizona State University’s Melikian Center, a university division that studies Eastern Europe and Eurasia. Melikian is of Armenian descent and he and his wife speak eight language between the two of them, he said. Melikian says that he has met with a handful of serious candidates, but he hasn’t had any luck yet, he said. The family is still interested in having a financial interest in the hotel, he added. And they won’t rush the decision, he said. “I want someone who is an asset to this hotel and an asset to this town,” he said. [Note: To read the full article, feed://