2018 Viola Award Finalist for Business for the Arts
Hotel Monte Vista opened its doors on New Year’s Day in 1927, a new beginning for the town of Flagstaff, who’s wealthy citizens had come together to invest in the comfort of their guests and the future of Flagstaff. They were beginning to recognize the need for a luxury hotel as Percival Lowell looked for canals on Mars and Fred Harvey’s “girls” shuttled tourists to the Grand Canyon.The Monte Vista greeted weary travelers as they arrived on the train with private rooms, hot water, and a luxury restaurant and saloon. The name ‘Monte Vista,’ was chosen by a 12-year-old contest winner a few months after the hotel opened, under the working title “The Community Hotel”. Hosting an enviable slate of celebrities over the years, the business has always seen more than its fair share of excitement.
Now, in their 90th year, The Monte Vista continues to be connected to the Flagstaff community. One of the oldest fully operational hotels in Flagstaff, it is listed on the U.S. Registrar of Historic Places but is still committed to supporting the arts and culture in Flagstaff. The management of The Vista recognizes its historic legacy of community, and that art fosters a community that everyone can appreciate.
Recently, they have been financial contributors to the Flagstaff Arts Council, Dark Sky Aerial, The Peaks Expo, The Flagstaff Mountain Film Festival, and various other arts related works here in Flagstaff.
The Hotel Monte Vista has two thriving established Public Houses, one is a relaxed music venue and pool hall, the historic Monte Vista Cocktail Lounge. The other, The Rendezvous, is a hip and friendly coffee and craft cocktail bar with a rotating gallery of artist showcases. In November, the Hotel Monte Vista opened the pan-Asian inspired Lotus Lounge Restaurant. Offering a new concept for Flagstaff, that of the “Izakaya” (a type of Japanese gastropub), Lotus Lounge is an innovative addition to the culinary arts scene, as well as offering yet another gallery for local art during Flagstaff’s monthly art walk, in it’s historic 100 year old post building.
The Monte Vista has shown strong support of the tattoo community, for two years, working closely with newly opened tattoo shop Mirror Gallery to host the annual Peaks Expo. The weekend-long festival is an urban art expo filled with artists from all over the country and their body art enthusiasts.
They have also supported The Flagstaff Mountain Film Festival for 3 years now. They are looking forward to hosting, not only filmmakers and guests in the hotel rooms, and the many fascinating discussions over fine cocktails after film showings nearby, but also, for the first time this year, a showing of one of these wonderful documentaries on the premises!
Most recently, the entire Monte Vista was transformed into a massive stage for Tilt: a herculean avante-garde performance, complete with a crane, pyrotechnics, audience immersion and sky dancing. Dark Sky Aerial dancers mingled among bystanders, repelled from rooftops, acted out dark vignettes and inhabited otherworldly characters. Creating something that no one knew Flagstaff was even capable of. But, the Vista did.
A member of Dark Sky Aerial states, “Not only were they a major in kind sponsor(…) but they also were one of our largest financial donors”. The Dark Sky member continues, “They advocated for us, they believed in our art, and they were instrumental in making sure that our wildest dreams could come true. If not for the Hotel Monte Vista, there would have been no TILT.”
2017 has proven to be a great year for the Monte Vista and its commitment to the Flagstaff community. Strong support of the arts will continue to shape the mission of the Hotel Monte Vista for years to come.