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Jerome Grand Hotel
200 Hill St, Jerome, AZ 86331
Built on the very top of Cleopatra Hill, this huge, 5 story Spanish Mission-style, building is the highest public building in the entire Verde Valley. Jerome itself is at 5000 elevation and was built on the side of the Mingus mountain, on Cleopatra Hill overlooking the Verde Valley, about a 15 minute drive up from the valley floor, and about 20 miles from the once large, profitable copper mine, which was why the town of Jerome was built in the first place in 1876. The building was made of concrete, poured in place on a 50 degree slope, and still is considered an engineering feat to this day. While the upper floors house the guest rooms, the bottom floor houses the hotel lobby, the gift shop, a high-end scale restaurant and the hotel kitchen. Walking into the lobby is like walking into the 1920s era. The decorum and furniture reflect the time period in which this building was constructed. The 1926, charming Otis Elevator which serves all five floors is the oldest original "self service" elevator in Arizona, and long known for its reliability. HISTORY The United Verde Hospital was built in 1927 as a state of the art modern hospital, serving the copper mining town Jerome, Verde Valley and surrounding communities. It was considered the "most modern and well equipped hospital in Arizona and possibly the Western States." It was built to be sturdy, and withstand dynamite blasts of up to 260,000 pounds of dynamite felt from the mines and was fire-proof. When it was closed in 1950, because the mine activity was being phased out, it was still kept up to snuff as a hospital in case it was needed in an emergency situation, until 1971. However, around 1971, hardy artists ( some called them hippies) began to come to Jerome to join the remaining population of 100 folks, to set up various arts and crafts shops, which proved to be a tourist attraction, which means Jerome as a town wasn't dead yet! Over the next 20 years, Jerome continued to attract tourist dollars, which means it became profitable to open up other businesses which cater to visitors. B and B's, and hotels became a profitable venture. The time had come for the vacant old hospital building to transform into a new existence as a high-class hotel. In 1994, the building was bought from the Phelps Dodge Mining Company, by the Altherr family, destined to open in 1996 as Val Alan's Jerome Grand Hotel, after being historically renovated, retaining 95% of it's original state. Because it was taken care of for so many years and built to last, after the renovation it can be said that the hotel is the best preserved building in Arizona. The building had a reputation for being haunted even during the time that The United Verde Hospital was still up and running. A variety of manifestations became evident to the patients, visitors and the personnel working there, which still occur today. The people in the hospital and today in the hotel hear talking, coughing, hard breathing, moaning and cries of distress from pain on every floor, which came not from the living patients/people themselves but from past ones no longer there in bodily form. Perhaps some of these manifestations originated from the deadly flu epidemic which caused a high death toll in Jerome. For more information about the hotel please visit http://www.jeromegrandhotel.net/.
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