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Americana Reimagined as ‘Retro-Futuristic Oasis’

Route 66’s roadside motel is back in style.

The Americana Motor Hotel was Flagstaff’s swankiest mid-century inn when it opened in 1962, but its glory days on Route 66 faded for decades, overshadowed by newer properties and closer to the Interstate. Got stuck far off 40.

Elvis used to sleep here. Robert F. Kennedy he campaigned in Americana in 1968. A year after that, Peter Fonda stayed in Roadside Paradise with the cast and crew of ‘Easy Rider’. BB King played the blues in the hotel lounge.

Now, Dallas-based Practice Hospitality is restoring Americana with plans to open this month. Hoteliers have designed what they call the 89-room property a “retro-futuristic oasis.” Includes vibrant colors, geometric carpet patterns, and an indoor disco ball.

Americana is a new take on the “classic roadside retreat,” said General Manager Zach Miller. “Once you have a historic property, you want to go back to its heritage and history and make tweaks to improve it for the future,” he said.

Americana’s resurgence comes as Flagstaff recovers from a brutal winter and tourism continues to pick up after the pandemic.

Hotel development continues. Hyatt Place will open a 96-room hotel at 397 S. Malpais Lane. The Aiden by Best Western @ Flagstaff, his redeveloped 1970s hotel, is located at the southern end of Milton Road.

Last year, Phoenix-based Classic Hotels & Resorts converted the former Days Inn into a 123-room High Country Motor Lodge. The High Country Motor Lodge is a stylish retro hotel on Route 66 in West Flagstaff. The property was originally Holiday Inn No. 486, which opened in 1964.

The Holiday Inn and Americana were Flagstaff’s top motels in the 1960s, but both took a step back with the opening of Little America in 1973.

The newly renovated Americana aims to restore its brilliance. It was once Flagstaff’s largest hotel with 151 rooms. It featured convention and banquet space for 300 people, a 24-hour coffee shop, Coral Reef dining room and cocktail lounge. In recent years, Americana has come to an end-
Some rooms are rented on a weekly basis at the resort hotel selection. Sold for $1.2 million in 2008.

Enter Americana Hotel Ventures, which purchased 2.97 acres of land for $7.37 million in 2021, according to Coconino County records. Practice Hospitality is the management company of Americana.

Hotel upgrades include a heated pool with a ‘plunging movie’, fire pits, hammocks, bocce court, cornhole and other backyard games. The poolside bar serves canned beer, wine and cocktails. Explore Flagstaff on complimentary bikes or use the hotel’s telescopes to gaze at the night sky.

According to Miller, who previously ran the Jupiter Hotel in Portland, Oregon in the 1960s, Americana’s Far Out Food Outlet is a walk-up window offering a simple roadside menu of burgers and ice cream.

In addition to the candy-colored rooms, the color palette of the Americana exterior is just as bright and closely resembles the original hotel design.

“To be able to bring this property back to life in such a creative and surprising way is not only exciting, it is part of who we are as a company,” said Miller. increase.

Practice Hospitality operates four other hotels. Hilton Dallas Park Cities, Hotel Corrie in Atlanta, Mojave Resort in Palm Desert, California, and Drifthaven in Gearhart on the Oregon Coast. Four other of his pipelines are in the works, including Americana.

Trace Ward, director of Discover Flagstaff, said Americana would appeal to Generation X and younger guests, but said, “There are also a lot of Boomers who find nostalgia so much fun. They take it out of the park.” I’m going to hit it off,” Ward said of hands-on hospitality.

The tourism board leader added that Americana foresees other redevelopments because of the lack of land for good hotel sites. I need it,” he said. “If people want consistency, they can choose a branded hotel. Others want to be part of something different.”

Flagstaff’s first quarter visitor numbers, the slowest month, were hit by one of the harshest winters on record. Many skiers and snowboarders have canceled trips and hotel stays to avoid dangerous road conditions, Ward said.

However, Flagstaff has recovered from a 20% pandemic drop in 2020.

Hotel occupancy remained flat at 73.2% over the past year, while room rates rose 4% to $127.13 and revenue per room increased 3.27% from 2021 to a record $93.02 I was. In the Flagstaff market he has over 5,000 hotel rooms.

Americana plans to set the initial room rate at $150. The opening is scheduled for late May, Miller said. It’s been almost exactly 61 years since he had his first guest on June 11, 1962. FBNMore

Peter Corbett, FBN

Courtesy photo: Hotel upgrades include a heated pool with a ‘plunging movie’, fire pits, hammocks, bocce court, cornhole and other backyard games.

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