A Brief History of The Lodge
Originally constructed in 1899 by the Alamogordo and Sacramento Mountain Railway
as a by-product of the railroad's search for timber and railway ties, the resort
of Cloudcroft became an immediately successful mountain retreat...a cool reprieve
to thousands of overheated Texans. (Remember that New Mexico, Oklahoma and Arizona
were not states at the time.) Owned and operated by the railroad, the resort's
initial building was a pavilion (now the Pavilion, a Bed and Breakfast at The
Lodge with reception and ballroom.)
As the actual log-constructed Lodge neared completion in 1899, an article in the
Albuquerque Journal-Democrat reported, "This beautiful building will be known as
Cloudcroft Lodge and its interior will be furnished with a lavish hand, yet in
keeping with the character of the place. Fireplaces, with wide, hungry mouths,
will sparkle, crackle and dart forth welcome tongues of flame to hundreds of merry
guests, who will find a new pleasure in life during the long, sultry summer."
In 1908, the El Paso and Southwestern Railroad System, the resort's new owner,
advertised that the hotel, restaurant, dancing pavilion, tennis court, golf links,
bowling alley, billiard parlor, burro trips and children's playground were accessible
for weekend rates of $3.00 round trip. Lodge rates were $12.50 and up per week.
On June 13, 1909, a disastrous fire destroyed The Lodge. But by 1911 The Lodge had been
rebuilt and reopened on its current, more scenic site. Since then it has undergone
numerous renovations, but the initial appearance remains almost unchanged.
Over the history of The Lodge, thousands of Southwestern families have called The
Lodge and Cloudcroft their second home. The Lodge has entertained and hosted hundreds
of politicians, artists, entertainers and business leaders, including such notables
as Poncho Villa, Judy Garland and Clark Gable. Gilbert Roland was known to frequent
The Lodge. Both U. S. and Mexican government officials have long visited the historic
hotel. Military leaders, scientists and astronauts from all over the world have made
The Lodge a retreat during their visits to White Sands Missile Range, Holloman AFB
and Fort Bliss. And, in fact, the most famous hotelier in the world was once associated
with The Lodge; Conrad Hilton managed it in the 1930's.
In January of 1992 the historic Lodge was repurchased by the Great Inn of the
Rockies, Inc., a small privately held corporation that aspires to own and operate
small resort hotels and country inns in the Rocky Mountain Region. The Great Inns
of the Rockies previously owned The Lodge from 1986 to 1990. Today The Lodge
continues in the tradition of friendliness, hospitality, outstanding food and
Share your favorite memory from your stay at The Lodge!