Above: Home to a United World College campus, Montezuma Castle commands a setting six miles north of Las Vegas, New Mexico. Dawn Jernaill, a Maui resident and parent of one of
the students, specializes in aerial photography.
In 1884 this beautiful hotel burned down, and the loss to the owners was over $150,000; but no sooner were the ashes cool than they built again. The new structure was named the Phoenix Hotel, but to all interested people it remained the Montezuma. This was a most elegant structure. It had over 250 rooms to serve the public, and it was the first building in New Mexico to be wired for electricity. The casino was 60 feet by 100 feet and included a dance floor and stage; the dining room seated 500 guests at a time. At the bath house 1,000 baths a day could be provided. A stable, power plant, ice house, a depot, and a foreman’s cottage were included. The furniture was of cocobolo, ebony, and French walnut. Fireplaces were provided in every room. The hotel boasted four bowling alleys, a large billiard hall, outside archery, lawn tennis, and croquet. A beautiful garden enhanced by a fountain, a zoo, and a race track completed the grounds. Prices for accommodations were very moderate, from $3.00 to $4.00 per day and $17.50 to $24.50 per week.