Indian Hills Inn, Taos Plaza History
We aren't certain of when the Indian Hills Inn, Taos Plaza began offering lodging to Taos travelers, but according to one fellow who's worked on a couple of our projects, his grandfather talked about working on the hotel around the Great Depression (about 1930, not the current one) and the oldest building (now torn down) was old then. We're guessing that it was likely originally a home and perhaps store in front, early 1900's. Then, several rooms were built behind that street front building. Those original rooms were of the style where they built a room, then a couple car ports, then a couple rooms, etc. Ultimately, that wing with carport conversions included 23 lodging rooms and a laundry. A complete remodelling was planned around 1994 ($50+/SF) but the old gray mare ain't what she used to be and it was decided that new construction was a better idea.
Interestingly, a distant family member's family is in the ownership chain for Indian Hills Inn, Taos Plaza. Judy remembers swinging under/from the grandma willow tree in the central park courtyard when she was young, probably in the mid to late 1950's. Some of that family still are involved in the Taos tourism market at another business. Amazingly small world!
Coincidentaly, Suzanne's (wife, partner, owner) father is from the Taos area...Dixon, about 25 miles South of Taos, just off NM 68 near Rinconada. Over the years, we've met distant relatives at local government offices, local business networking events, and with connections to employees both current and past. It really is an amazingly small world!
About 1963, the Moynihans added 25 new rooms along the Southerly edge of the property and at the same time the front building was updated into a bar, restaurant, and small package liquor store.. The old Bank of New Mexico (now Wells Fargo) was involved in syndicating the loan at that time with shares owned by several other New Mexico banks. I think the name was changed to Indian Hills Inn at that time.
The Markers owned and operated the hotel for several years until their retirement. The next owner lasted only a few years until their finances lead them to bankrupcy. At that time, one of my real estate office agents, Roger, and I bought the property. Roger owned and had owned a couple other motels and he and I were partners in a couple others at the same time.
In the mid 1980's, we closed the restaurant and bar. At one point, the Taos County Chamber of Commerce rented the Northerly portion of the then and now retail rental building. It has since been the home to several different retailers of shops including the National Forest Service for a visitor center, the Neglia's Taos General Store, Mike Martinez Tee Shirt Factory, a golf pro shop, a yoga studio. It's now home to a local non profit SOMOS, Society of the Muse of the Southwest; Enchanted Florist (let us know if you'd like to order something special for your stay or call them direct), and about 1,500 square feet available for your next venture!
Along about 1990 , we built a new lobby in the front of the hotel. Then in 1992, the entire parking lot was drained, graded, a proper base course added, and asphalted. In the mid 1990's, we embarked on a rebuilding (started as a remodel but...) project to upgrade the oldest adobe part of the building (the 23 units). That was not possible due to deteriorated adobes, vegas, foundation, etc. That building was replaced with the 30 deluxe king rooms in 1996.
If any of you have photos or stories about your long agao visits to Taos and/or Indian Hills Inn, Taos Plaza, we'd love to hear or see them. We invite posts to our Facebook page. You can like that page or click over to it on the front page of the website or here: https://www.facebook.com/IndianHillsInnTaosPlaza