Thursday, November 15, 2007

Four northern Arizona inns share frontier heritage

[Source: Kelli M. Donley, Arizona Republic] -- Southern Arizona doesn't have the market cornered on historic hotels. If northern Arizona interests you, here are hotels in Prescott, Flagstaff and Winslow where you can have an out-of-the-ordinary experience.

Hassayampa Inn
When President Abraham Lincoln signed a bill creating Arizona Territory in 1863, the Wild West was far from being tamed. The territory was mostly brutal desert, although many saw a golden opportunity to find the American dream. Ranch hands, miners and lumberjacks filled the streets of Prescott seeking work and a new life. More than 60 years later, the owners of the Hassayampa Inn struck gold with their 67-room hotel, which would host Will Rogers, Clark Gable and World War I hero Gen. John J. "Black Jack" Pershing. "Today, our typical weekend guest is from the Valley, escaping the heat and hustle and bustle of the big city for the cool, calm of our little town," says Skip Drinkard, general manager.

Prescott is a big little city, with many festivals and events in Courthouse Square that draw visitors from across the state. "Prescott is known as the Christmas City during the holiday season, and the tree-lighting on the Courthouse Square on the first Saturday in December attracts thousands," Drinkard says. Guests at the Hassayampa (pictured) may encounter another fabled guest: the resident ghost, Faith. As the story goes, Faith was a young bride who was left by her new husband on their honeymoon in 1927. After several days of waiting for him in the honeymoon suite, she hanged herself. Since then, guests and staff have reported seeing a distraught young woman in a pink robe wandering the hotel. The Hassayampa Inn features the Peacock Room restaurant, which also offers banquet services. Weddings in the gazebo are popular; the rooftop terrace, another wedding spot, provides a beautiful view of the city. The inn was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.

Where: 122 E. Gurley St., Prescott. About 100 miles from central Phoenix. Take Interstate 17 north to Arizona 69 (Exit 262), then go northwest to Arizona 89, which turns into Gurley Street. Rates: $129-$235 per night. Details: 928-788-9434 or Hassayampa Inn.

[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: LC Web Design.]