TUCSON, Ariz. — A historic hotel on the Arizona-Mexico border could be shut down for good if no one steps forward to purchase it.
The extravagant Gadsden Hotel in Douglas has been featured in movies and ghost hunting TV shows, reported KOLD-TV (http://bit.ly/2dbcba5). Douglas is 100 miles southeast of Tucson and across the border from Agua Prieta, Sonora.
Owner Hartman Brekhus turns 93 in October and says he can’t keep the 109-year-old hotel open much longer. He bought the hotel with his wife in 1988, but she has since passed away and his health is declining.
Brekhus’ daughter-in-law, Robin Brehus, is a former manager of the hotel and a spokeswoman for the family.
She told Tucson News Now that the hotel has hosted weddings, proms and quinceneras for the community.
“I don’t think I know anybody who doesn’t have some memory of the Gadsden,” she said.
The Gadsden Hotel is on the National Register of Historic Places and former Douglas mayor Michael Gomez says it is an anchor for the city’s downtown. It’s held noted guests like Eleanor Roosevelt, Amelia Earhart, John Dillinger and several Arizona governors.
The hotel’s elaborate interior includes a 42-foot Tiffany & Co. stained glass mural, an original marble staircase, an old-fashioned elevator and skeleton room keys that still hang behind the front desk.
“Still to this day I walk in here and look around and appreciate the beauty and the detail of this hotel, and it’s just sad to think about the doors closing and nobody walking in and out like they do every day,” said Adam Carrasco, the hotel’s general manager, who has memories of visiting the building as a child.
If the Gadsden closes, it would also displace 14 hotel employees and 10 businesses.
The Brekhus family says they have no current asking price and are willing to consider all offers.
Information from: KOLD-TV, http://www.kold.com/