TONOPAH, Nev. (AP) - Tonopah's historic Mizpah Hotel, once the tallest and most splendid hotel in Nevada, is reopening Saturday under new ownership.
Owners Nancy and Fred Cline say they're confident the five-story hotel along U.S. Highway 95 will soon turn a profit because of the potential for gold mining and solar energy development around Tonopah, which is roughly halfway between Las Vegas and Reno.
The couple told the Las Vegas Review-Journal they bought the Mizpah for $200,000 in February, the same amount of money it cost to build the hotel in 1907-08 during Tonopah's initial mining boom. The town of 2,500 has undergone boom-and-bust cycles since then, and Saturday's reopening will come 12 years after the hotel was last boarded up.
"We are not concerned about the risk," Nancy Cline said. "These (mining and solar) companies are investing millions. It is unbelievable how many people are coming from exploration companies. There are days every hotel in town is sold out because of the miners."
She said while they have upgraded wallpaper and carpeting, they intend to maintain the historic character of the 55-room hotel. They also plan to hire 40 people.
"This hotel dictates 1907, and we're staying in that theme," she told the Review-Journal. "To get out of that theme would be crazy. There is an authenticity to Tonopah that you can't find anywhere else."
The Clines operate Cline Cellars Winery and Jacuzzi Family Winery, both in Sonoma County, Calif. Fine wines will be featured in dining areas of the new Mizpah.
For much of the past 25 years, the Clines have enjoyed visiting Tonopah, where Nancy Cline's great-uncle, Harry Ramsey, made a fortune in the early 1900s buying and selling silver mines. He also ran a bar across the street from the Mizpah.
The Clines initially sought to buy another long-closed hotel, the Goldfield Hotel in Goldfield, about 25 miles south of Tonopah. Their offer was rebuffed, but they discovered the Mizpah was for sale.
"We count our blessings," Nancy Cline said. "We are so glad we ended up with the Mizpah. I love history. This is my backyard."