|The magnificent 100-foot neon tower at sunrise.|
This spring the Frishers accomplished a feat that I never dreamed possible: restoring the battered El Trovatore Motel and its spectacular 100-foot neon tower. Built in 1937 as a service station on a stony bluff, the tourist court was added in 1939 and offered travelers stunning views of the Hualapai Mountains to the east. Its first owner was John F. Miller, who famously built the first hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, the Sal Sagev (Las Vegas spelled backwards). When Route 66 was bypassed, the El Trovatore fell into disrepair and eventually became apartments.
On a warm May night I arrived via Andy Devine Avenue and immediately savored the motor court's pre-World War II atmosphere. Sam and Monica greeted me warmly and I unloaded my things into the Marilyn Monroe room before returning to the office to snap pictures of the Frishers and their dog Taco. Sam agreed to keep the neon tower lit until morning so I could view its glorious colors in the pre-dawn light (click photos to enlarge).
|The Marilyn Monroe room: simple and comfy.|
|Sam and Monica Frisher in the motel office, May 2012|
|A guest's view of the neon tower. The LED lighting is temporary.|
|Only on Route 66 can you get a welcome like this!|
|The Frishers' dog Taco provides some evening entertainment.|