Whispering Winds Motor Hotel in Flagstaff undergoing renovations with new owner

Whispering Winds Motor Hotel

The Whispering Winds Motor Hotel along Route 66 in Flagstaff, Arizona, is undergoing a full renovation, including its sign.

Ascend Capital Management of Flagstaff purchased the property at 922 E. Route 66 for a little less than $1 million in June, reported Flagstaff Business News.

The newspaper talked to Ascend sales and marketing director Jose Alvarado:

While contractors gut the guestrooms, developers plan the preservation of the motel’s unique mid-century modern façade. They are using a vintage postcard to guide their process.
Special features of the Whispering Winds mid-century design include pink and turquoise cylinders that house exterior lighting. The company is teaming up with experts at Behr paints to match the colors.
The motel’s flat roof is a trademark design element of mid-century architecture. However, at Whispering Winds, a stylized shallow-pitch canopy over the entry breaks the flat roofline. An architectural feature mounted over the natural rock façade on the front of the structure replicates the angle of the canopy that extends low to the ground. The resulting effect mimics the low-slung roofline, another defining element of mid-mod design, according to Ascend Capital Management representatives. In the 1950s, these design elements were unusual and commanded attention from the curb to draw Route 66 road trippers to their establishments. […]
“Feedback we get from our travel industry partners is that travelers want an authentic experience. Authenticity is very important for the international traveler. They want to taste local foods, take a picture that can’t be duplicated in another city and stay at original accommodations like this one,” said Alvarado. “We see a huge demand for that once travel comes back. Whispering Winds is within walking distance to historic downtown Flagstaff, and that will be a draw for millennial travelers. We love our travelers, both international and domestic. They want quality customer service and authenticity, and I think this property provides all these things.”

The company also is consulting the city’s Heritage Preservation Office to renovate the landmark sign.

Here are vintage postcard images of the Whispering Winds Motor Hotel, aks Whispering Winds Motel. I’m not sure which one is guiding the renovations, but I’m betting it’s the first image.

According to county property records, the motel was built in 1964.

The Whispering Winds news comes just a few days after it was announced El Pueblo Motor Inn, another Route 66 motel in Flagstaff, may also undergo extensive renovations.

(Excerpted image of the Whispering Winds Motor Hotel via Google Street View; vintage postcard images of the Whispering Winds Motor Hotel courtesy of 66Postcards.com)

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