Plaza Hotel History

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In the 1870’s Las Vegas was the biggest city in New Mexico territory,
and growing fast! Land baron Benigno Romero and his friends decided Las Vegas needed a first-class hotel, so in 1881 they rounded up the cash and built the Plaza Hotel. In the 1880’s the dining room was where the bar is now, north of the lobby overlooking the Plaza Park. It was called ‘The Plaza Supper Club’. The kitchen was on the north side of the hotel where the La Fonda headboards are on the walls now. The hallway leading to the Ilfeld wing was just a door out to an alley between the buildings. The current dining room was originally two retail spaces divided by a wall where the columns are now, with big doors and windows on to the Plaza. Behind this to the south – now the kitchen – was a huge dance hall. In the 1970’s most of the Plaza and Bridge Street was abandoned. In the 1980’s Wid Slick and his partners bought the Plaza Hotel and renovated all of the public spaces. They put the dining room and bar where they are now and built a new kitchen where the old dance hall was. The cast iron columns – 800 pounds each!- were moved here from the original dance hall.

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The Plaza dining room and Saloon were restored in 2014-2015. Jorden Grimm and his crew are responsible for the beautiful room you’re sitting in today.
The golden Venetian Plaster walls were done by Alex Darley – this is the only Venetian Plaster dining room we know of in the USA. Bob Black did all the wood paneling. Prices Furniture down on Douglas Ave custom-built all of the chairs and the dining room floor. Steve’s Woodworking handcrafted all of the walnut tables (and our front desk and bar). In the bar the wood floor is original, and Burt Bazan laid the true Victorian Encaustic tile floor and wainscot. The wall hangings are all real Navajo rugs woven here in New Mexico. Richard Cousins did all of the upholstery. The Santos were made by Margarito Mondragon & Peter Lopez. All of these people live and work in Las Vegas, New Mexico. By dining and drinking here you are helping to support local artists and craftspeople. Thank you!

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The Plaza Hotel is a member of Historic Hotels of America®, the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation for recognizing and celebrating the finest historic hotels across America.