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 Author: gorwest
PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2012 8:54 am 
The Murray Hotel is open for business!

You probably knew that already, but you may not know how important it is to our community, or how difficult it has been for the owners and other participants to reach this milestone. Having had a good deal of experience with difficult projects myself, I have immense admiration for the perseverance and courage it has taken to get the doors of this marvelous historical centerpiece of Silver City open for business again.

What the owners now face (no, the uphill slog is not over) is to manage the several year evolution from "open for business" to "thriving".

I was at a Village of Santa Clara economic development meeting on Thursday (now there's a challenge...) and we were discussing the opportunities. There are four general focus areas - "strip" development along Highway 180 (gas station, convenience store, motel); industrial park development; Ft. Bayard development; and core business district re-development (the core business district was decimated from routing Hwy 180 around town - it used to go down Bayard Street). The strip development is the normal cash cow for a municipality's gross receipts tax coffers - it is common to all western towns. Industrial development tends to bring better jobs as well as some gross receipts. Ft. Bayard development would be good for the entire county, but wouldn't have much effect on Santa Clara unless it was annexed (Santa Clara was created as a support community to Ft. Bayard back in the 1800's). Core re-development has the potential for jobs, gross receipts, and providing Santa Clara with an identity. It is identity that will bring shoppers and tourists to the Village, if it is possible to do at all.

I realized after that meeting how amazing it is that the Murray Hotel was raised from being an eyesore and heroin users den to a major asset to the community and no one is making a big deal out of that.

The Murray Hotel is one of the largest and most important pieces of Silver City's identity, both because of its imposing structure but also because of its long and rich history. Just a few years ago it was a humongous abscess in the heart of town, too big to tear down, too dilapidated (and big) for anyone to restore. Yet the Albershardts took it on (no question in my mind that they are a little bit crazy) and now the doors are open for business! And they didn't do a half-assed job of it, either. It is a quality establishment with an honest triple-bottom-line business ethic.

Behind the scenes there are many ongoing difficulties and some rumors are circulating that the Murray Hotel will fail because it can never pay for itself. I find it astounding to think that such an attitude could surface just at the time when the doors have opened and bookings are increasing week by week. There is a rule of thumb in the hotel business that it takes about two years to build exposure enough to operate profitably and I am convinced that the Murray Hotel will do that, and become a strong draw for tourism for the entire business community in the process.

We need to be aware of the triple-bottom-line benefits (economic, social, environmental) that such businesses bring to the health and well-being of the whole community and support them as best we can. Right now it's time to celebrate the rebirth of the iconic Murray Hotel!

 Author: mariam
PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2012 2:38 pm 
I echo your support of the Murray, Gordon! I look forward to the economic growth in Silver City that could be stimulated by The Murray and the conventions that the town now may be able to attract. Once the ballroom is finished, the Murray Hotel offers a base for larger groups to come and have their event all under one roof. Hats off to the Albershardt's for all their hard work and perseverance!

 Author: Lynda
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 12:46 pm 
Could someone post a picture please?

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