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El Rancho Hotel & Motel facts for kids

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El Rancho Hotel
Nocturnal Hotel El Rancho.jpg
El Rancho Hotel at night
Location 100 E. 66th Ave.,
Gallup, New Mexico
Area 1 acre (0.40 ha)
Built 1936 (1936)
Architect Joe Massagalia
Architectural style Rustic
MPS Downtown Gallup MRA
NRHP reference No. 87002222
Significant dates
Added to NRHP January 14, 1988

El Rancho Hotel, Gallup, New Mexico, is a historic hotel built by R.E. “Griff” Griffith, the brother of film director D.W. Griffith. The pair encouraged early film production in the surrounding area. It is located on old U.S. Route 66 and became the temporary home for many Hollywood movie stars.The rambling, three-story hotel building has a large portico with a central balcony reminiscent of the Southern Plantation style. The National Park Service describes it as having a “rusticated fantasy appearance.” Materials include brick, random ashlar stone, and roughewn wood with a wood shake roof and brick and stone chimneys. The lobby features a spectacular walk-in fireplace made of brick and random ashlar stone surrounded by twin stairways made of split logs that leadi to the second floor guest rooms. The slogan “Charm of Yesterday, Convenience of Tomorrow” is rendered in neon above the main entrance.

It is on the Trails of the Ancients Byway, one of the designated New Mexico Scenic Byways.

History

It opened in 1937 as a base for movie productions. Employees were trained by the Fred Harvey Company.

With the opening of Interstate 40, the property fell into decline. Armand Ortega bought the hotel at a bankruptcy auction and restored the property. The Ortega family has a long history dealing in Native American jewelry and artwork in Santa Fe, New Mexico and has operated concessions for the National Park Service at Carlsbad Caverns National Park, White Sands National Park, Death Valley National Park, Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, Muir Woods National Monument, and others.

Famous guests

Headquarters for films

El Rancho Hotel interior
El Rancho Hotel lobby
El Rancho Hotel & Motel, Gallup, NM, US (1)
Wide shot
  • The Bad Man 1940
  • Sundown 1941
  • The Desert Song 1942
  • Song of the Nile 1944
  • Four Faces West & Colorado Territory 1947-1948
  • Streets of Laredo 1948
  • Rocky Mountain 1950
  • Ace in the Hole (1951 film) 1951 (AKA The Big Carnival)
  • New Mexico 1950
  • Fort Defiance 1950
  • Raton Pass 1951
  • Fort Massacre 1957
  • A Distant Trumpet 1963
  • The Hallelujah Trail 1964
  • Bottom of the World 2017