Business

New Kachina Lodge owner faces mountain of challenges

'Step by step'

By Jesse Moya
jmoya@taosnews.com
Posted 2/22/19

Developer Pinder Gill is trying to bring the historic Kachina Lodge back to high-quality hotel status.

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Business

New Kachina Lodge owner faces mountain of challenges

'Step by step'

Posted

Visitors to Taos often have a difficult time finding a decent hotel room to rent during major events. Developer Pinder Gill recognized this issue in Taos and is trying to bring the historic Kachina Lodge back to high-quality hotel status.

For several years, the Kachina Lodge was owned and managed by W. Dean Koop and Sally Koop who filed for bankruptcy in 2018. Gill purchased the hotel early in 2019 and has been hard at work fixing up the property for future generations of visitors to enjoy.

"I'm putting a lot of work into this," Gill said about his new hotel. "Step by step. It's going to be ongoing and very tedious."

According to Gill, who operates a Best Western in Alabama, the nearly 60-year-old Kachina needed several major and minor fixes after years of serving guests. Electrical, water and roofing repairs became the constant focus of the project as the rooms were repaired one by one.

Some of the major issues at the hotel included room key readers that did not work, plumbing problems as well as an overall lack of security at the hotel.

"We went through the online reviews and addressed the concerns," Gill said.

The rooms will be fully equipped with new beds, frames and paint to give them an updated look and fresh feel. New linens and furniture have also been ordered and are sitting in a supply room ready to roll out.

Gill said he has kept a majority of the staff inherited from the Koops and plans to move forward in bringing a new image to the aged Taos hotel.

"It's going to be a success," said Sheri Gonzales-Roberts. "We're going to rock it. People are going to be able to feel the memories they had here."

Gonzales-Roberts has been with the Kachina for four years and has been a consultant to Gill about the hotel's past during the renovations.

It has not been an easy road to fix the Kachina, and Gill said he often has to look out of town for some of the specialty skills required for some of the repairs. Through all the upgrades and updates, Gill said he remains focused on the future of the buildings and does not wish to spend time reflecting or worrying about the past.

"It has to be done," Gill said about the repairs. "There's no other option."

The Kachina Lodge opened in 1960 and has seen its share of renovations over the years. Currently, the hotel holds 90 guest rooms and crews are working to have all rooms open and available for new guests as soon as possible.

The businesses on the property of the Kachina were also renovated as part of Gill's purchase and he said he hopes to have tenants back in there as soon as possible. Gill and his crew are also looking for a new restaurant to set up shop in the hotel. No liquor license is currently attached to the property.

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