El Trovatore Motel
1440 E. Andy Devine Avenue (aka Historic Route 66)
The historic El Trovatore Motel, built in 1939, is located on Route 66 in Kingman, Arizona.
The motel went through extensive restoration in 2011 and is in operation as a motel after serving as apartments for several years. El Trovatore features Hollywood-themed rooms and murals, as well as claiming to have the world’s longest Route 66 map. A nearby neon tower, with vertically aligned letters spelling out "El Trovatore," towers over the lodge’s property, measuring an approximate 100 feet.
I’m eager to return sometime so as to photograph the restored, lit neon signs at night.
About the vintage motel, via a 2011 article posted at Route 66 News:
El Trovatore Motel in Kingman, Ariz., recently reopened to overnight travelers after being used as apartments for the past few years. The owner says he plans to restore the historic Route 66 motel in the coming months, including its distinctive neon signs.
El Trovatore owner Sam Frisher, born in Israel but has lived in the United States for more than 30 years, said in a phone interview Sunday that he acquired a motel license from the City of Kingman last week. El Trovatore had been used as apartments for the past few years.
Twenty-two guest rooms are available for $39.99 a night (plus free breakfast for two at a nearby restaurant). All of the rooms will be renovated and reopened in the coming months.
Longer term, Frisher wants to build an observation deck around the base of the El Trovatore sign tower. That spot affords good views of the nearby mountain ranges and the city.
All told, Frisher thinks he’ll have the renovations completed by mid-summer.
He said he’s paying for the restoration effort by refinancing the mortgage to a lower rate, plus another loan for the remodeling.
He said he initially explored using LED lighting in place of some of the neon, but reconsidered.
“What’s the point of restoring it if you don’t do the original look?” he said. “So we’re going with the original neon. That’s the kind of stuff you want to keep for America and Route 66.”
Frisher acknowledged that El Trovatore saw troubled times with police calls and code violations in recent years. He blamed poor management. He said he’s living on the premises to make sure the restoration proceeded properly.
One reason restoring El Trovatore may be a good move is because it will accommodate large Route 66 tour groups. Kingman boasts several vintage motels —Hilltop Motel is a good example — but they’re too small for tour buses.
El Trovatore Court was built in 1939 on El Trovatore Hill by John F. Miller, who gained fame and fortune years before by building the first hotel in Las Vegas, Hotel Nevada, in 1906.
A bit about Kingman, via Wikipedia:
Kingman (Huwaalyapay Nyava in the Mojave language) is a city in and the county seat of Mohave County, Arizona, United States. According to the 2010 census, the population of the city is 28,068. The nearby communities of Butler and Golden Valley bring the Kingman area total population to over 45,000. Kingman is located 85 miles southeast of Las Vegas, Nevada and about 165 miles northwest of the state capital, Phoenix.
Route 66 road trip with my husband to celebrate our 31st anniversary, from Two Guns, Arizona to Needles, California, Feb-Mar 2017.
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