Historic Hotels & Motels

Style: Mission Revival

El Fidel Hotel

North Region

Constructed 1923

Originally called the Meadows Hotel, the El Fidel Hotel opened in 1923, billed as a modern inn to attract tourists traveling the country in their newfangled automobiles. It was the first hotel in Las Vegas, NM with bathrooms in each guest room. Today, the El Fidel is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, offering both overnight hotel rooms and resident apartments. The El Fidel also features unexplained happenings that some say stem from a tragic shooting in 1923 in the hotel lobby. Judge David J. Leahy was visiting the El Fidel, just like many of the well-to-do did back then. On one particular night however, Leahy found himself in the company of newspaper editor Carl Magee, who had written scathing stories about allegations surrounding Leahy and corruption. Magee had been convicted on contempt charges over the stories, but the New Mexico governor pardoned him. The judge went after Magee with his cane, and Magee pulled out a gun and shot at the judge. Magee missed the judge, but killed an innocent bystander. Magee was acquitted on manslaughter charges based on a self-defense theory, moved to Oklahoma and struck it rich by inventing the parking meter. But the El Fidel, that boasts the original lobby from the 1920s, became the home to ghosts that still haunt the halls and rooms today. Irene Wolff, whose family owns the property today, has heard plenty of ghost stories from guests and employees. Some have smelled cigar smoke when no one was around, and others have heard a lady laughing. And in Room 107, the wall will often turn cold - ghostly cold."I felt it one night," Wolff said. "It scared me. But I went back to the desk, and I was fine." The building of the El Fidel (originally the Meadows Hotel) was a community project initiated by the Commercial Club of Las Vegas in 1920. Renowned architect Henry C. Trost of El Paso designed the Spanish Colonial Revival landmark, which features an intact lobby from the era. The hotel was a popular stop on US Highway 85 in the years before Interstate highway travel. (material adapted from a blog by J. Eric Eckard, "Ghosts of Las Vegas, NM")

500 Douglas Ave. | Las Vegas, NM 87701
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Tags: El Fidel Hotel, Haunted Hotels, Las Vegas - NM