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1960s Taos hotel to be restored, re-opened

SANTA FE – An eyesore in Taos will be transformed into a hip retro hotel under a plan announced Tuesday by a California hospitality company.

Carolyn Schneider, president of the Casetta Group, said the company plans to restore the former Indian Hills Inn, located on Paseo del Pueblo Sur near the new gateway to downtown being constructed in Taos.

Originally built in the 1960s, the hotel was expanded in the 1990s, Schneider said, but closed in the summer of 2018.

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The Indian Hills Inn in Taos during its heyday in the 1960s. (Courtesy Casetta Group)

It was recently condemned by the town of Taos along with several other buildings near the new gateway, which will involve new lighting and street alignment.

The sale to Casetta included considerable public input, said Town Manager Rick Bellis. The hotel has been selected for the town’s 2019 Community Development Block Grant Economic Development project and will be seeking a grant of up to $500,000 in federal and state funding.

The plan outlined by Casetta calls for restoration of 50 rooms, the addition of arts-related businesses and a convention space. “We think everybody will be happy to see this dilapidated property restored as an arts-oriented retro hotel,” Bellis said.

Casetta’s California boutique hotel portfolio includes The Pearl in San Diego, Casa Cody in Palm Springs and Marina Resort in Big Bear, all of which are undergoing renovations that will be unveiled next year.

The former Indian Hills Inn will reopen in the fall of 2020 under a new name that has yet to be determined, said Schneider.

Bellis said he sees marketing synergy between the California resorts that Casetta owns and air service to and from California that the town of Taos hopes to announce soon.

Beginning Dec. 19, Taos Air will begin its second year operating direct charter flight service to Austin–Bergstrom International and Dallas Love Field airports from Taos Regional Airport. The service will run through March 29, 2020 offering six round trips per week every Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, with alternative service on holiday weekends.

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