The effort to restore a motel in Santa Fe that was opened in the fall of 1956 is gaining steam through a bidding process sponsored by the New Mexico State Land Office.
The 83-room Garrett’s Desert Inn at 311 Old Santa Fe Trail has been owned by the Land Office for the last two years as a result of a land swap with the Cochiti Pueblo.
During that period of time, officials with the Land Office have listened to ideas regarding how to bring the 2.7-acre site back to life, including a bid made late last year by the Scottsdale-based Green Tree Hospitality and Peak Hospitality of Albuquerque.
That proposal fell through when the bidders were unable to secure a $250,000 performance bond.
Now, a panel made up of Land Office staffers, an architect, a preservationist, and three outside stake holders, will review the bids of three New Mexico-based firms who want to lease and manage the property.
Those bids will detail the firms’ plans for the property which will almost certainly include upgrading and renovation work.
Fronted by a one-story lobby and portico, the 37,000 square foot structure, upon its opening in 1956, was advertised as the largest such motel in New Mexico.
By Garry Boulard
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