Mountainair hotel still going strong after 90 years

Posted at: 05/08/2013 5:57 PM
Updated at: 05/08/2013 5:58 PM
By: Joseph Lynch, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Something we all love about New Mexico is its back roads. A day trip from Albuquerque, in the town of Mountainair, there's a registered historical landmark: The Shaffer Hotel.

The Shaffer is fighting the franchises and a tough economy because while its location is part of its charm, it might also be its biggest challenge.

The Tomahawk Service Station closed down in Mountainair a long time ago. But across the street, the Shaffer Hotel is still open, ninety years and 8 owners later. People come from all over the world. Thanks to shows like "Ghost Hunters", the hotel has a reputation according to Shaffer Hotel General Manager Edward Harting.  

"It's supposedly haunted. We get a lot of the ghost hunter types in here and people that will want to stay in the hotel as long as they can stay in one of the haunted rooms- which I don't know which one's those are."

So how did a guy from Santa Barbara, California end up running this 90-year-old hotel in this remote town in New Mexico? Harting can thank a friendship that dates back to middle school. His lifelong friend is one of the owners.

"I got a call one day and I was in between consulting gigs down in Orange County. I said OK. And I've been here since the 1st of February and it's been interesting. It's very small, it's very remote. But it's quiet. It's beautiful. I like it here."

Seven previous owners of "Pop" Shaffer's hotel bought it and sold it for various reasons. So why does Harting and current ownership think they will succeed where others failed?

"I get a lot of activity from just people curious more than anything else. They just want to see the building. They want to see the architecture. They want to see this ceiling."

The current ownership is starting to do some marketing and advertising to keep competitive. If you want to know more about the Shaffer Hotel's history, click here.