Hotel Clovis: Saving a local landmark

File photo Hotel Clovis was foreclosed on in 2004 and became city property.

Sharna Johnson

When Hotel Clovis fell into disrepair in the 1980s and its owners failed to address it, the city stepped in.

Now, almost 11 years later, around $100,000 of local money has been invested — a figure that could grow to as much as $800,000 as the city works to put the building back in private hands.

Built in 1931, the nine-story hotel on Main Street was once the tallest building between Clovis and Albuquerque and served as the crown jewel of the community.

In 1983, after a long-time railroad contract was moved to a more modern hotel, Hotel Clovis’ doors were closed.

The 21 years that followed saw two different private owners, who were unable to bring it back to life.

In 2000, out of safety concerns, the city secured the abandoned building at a price of more than $26,000. News archives detailed numerous failed attempts to prompt its owners, The Hispano Business Council, to address the issue.

The building was foreclosed on in 2004 and became city property.

Since that time — concerned a new owner without the right resources might again let it fall into disrepair — the city has been caught between the expensive prospects of either refurbishing or demolishing the historic landmark, said Claire Burroughes, Clovis’ legislative and community development director.

“If we were to go out and sell it for a dollar on the courthouse steps, we wouldn’t have any control over it,” she said. “Something has to be done with this building and the challenge is, it can’t stand there forever. Over the 11 years, I’ve had maybe five people that were kind of serious about it … and after they looked at it, they decided they couldn’t do it.”

Estimates came in at $1.5 million to remediate asbestos and other safety issues in the building and demolition estimates ranged from $2 million up, she said.

The city found a bargain with GranCor Enterprises Inc., however, who, Burroughes said, “did the abatement for a song.”

Aside from the $26,000 spent to secure the hotel in 2000, the city has invested $74,500 —