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Monte Vista Sign
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When tourism, instead of mining was on the rise in Arizona during the mid 1920’s, residents began fundraising to build a newer and fancier hotel. They raised approximately $200,000 in a month with the investments of prominent citizens and funds donated by the novelist Zane Grey. They broke ground on the hotel on June 8th 1926.

When it was finished it was the tallest building in Flagstaff and had 73 rooms. It was originally named the Community Hotel, based upon the community’s support, and opened on New Years Day in 1927. The name Monte Vista, where did that come from? Well they held a contest which was won by a 12 year old girl and the name of the hotel was officially changed to The Monte Vista Hotel.

One of the more interesting facts about the Monte Vista is that during prohibition the main speakeasy in town was in The Monte Vista Lounge. It was officially put to an end in 1931 by town officials. It also held the only slot machines to ever function in Flagstaff from 1935 to 1940. The hotel is full of reported ghosts and has been featured on television, national publications and several books.

The most prevalent and often reported and written about ghost is that of the ghostly bellboy. Guests hear a knock at their door and a far away voice that says “Room Service.” They open the door and there is nobody there. Though some have seen a bellboy standing outside of room 210, if you want to meet the bellboy perhaps ask for that room. A celebrity has even reported the bellboy, John Wayne reported an encounter with the bellboy ghost when he was staying at the hotel, saying it seemed friendly and that he didn’t feel threatened at all by the ghost.

Monte Vista

Numerous other ghosts seem to reside in the hotel. The ghost of a bank robber who died in the hotel lounge greets staff with a disembodied “Good Morning” and barstools and drinks seem to move on their own there. Two prostitutes were killed in room 306 and their bodies thrown out the window onto the street below. Now male guests sometimes seem to have a hand placed over their mouth or throat and awakened after they start having trouble breathing. They then cannot get back to sleep because they feel they are being watched.

A young boy’s ghost walks the halls, touching guest’s hands and sometimes talking directly behind people, only for them to discover that nobody is there. The most active room, which was on the show “Unsolved Mysteries” is room 305. Guests have repeatedly seen a woman in the rocking chair by the window, or seen the chair move on its own.

A baby’s crying can be heard in the basement repeatedly and a transparent dancing couple seen in the Cocktail Lounge. The OPO (Old Post Office) Salon has experienced voices and figures moving about in the building. Besides that there are also light bulbs that have been unscrewed, or even removed. If you’re staying at the hotel don’t call room service, a ghost might come up, but check to make sure the bulbs are screwed in tight.

Updated August 22nd, 2009