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Arguably one of the most prominent symbols reflecting Tonopah’s mining boom—and bust—is the Mizpah Hotel, right in the heart of the downtown. Originally constructed in 1907 at the site of Jim Butler’s former mining campsites, the five-story Mizpah [named after the nearby Mizpah Mine] was Nevada’s tallest building from 1914 up until 1929. The hotel excahnged hands several times throughout the years, and was boarded up for only 11 years in its expansive 107 year history. Thankfully, the 'finest stone hotel in the desert' was revived back to life in 2011 after current owners Fred and Nancy Cline lovingly restored the property to its former glory.
Instantly glamorous in a dusty, hard-working mining epicenter, this elaborate establishment boasted steam heat, electric lights, and an elevator, representing itself as “The Finest Stone Hotel on the Desert.” It’s no wonder the social and political elite frequented this establishment, including Jack Dempsey, Wyatt Earp, US Senator Key Pittman, Tasker Oddie and even Howard Hughes. In fact, according to legend, Wyatt Earp kept the saloon, Jack Dempsey was a bouncer, and Howard Hughes married Jean Peters at the Mizpah.
Although Tonopah has suffered a few economic declines, the Mizpah is under the wing of new ownership and back to where it was all those years ago. With the hotel's lavish decor, a night in the Mizpah will undoubtedly bring you back to the grand opulence of the turn of the 20th century. With rooms boasting period furnishings, high thread count bedding and rich deep accents, you will feel like you’ve stepped back in time…in a good way. Interestingly, as the Mizpah had a caretaker for most of its history, many original features can be found throughougt the property, including light fixtures, bar stools, stained glass features, and Rolex hardware. Per the 2011 renovation, the hotel features 47 lavish rooms, a beautiful bar and two decadent restaurants: The Pittman Cafe and the more upscale Jack Dempsey Room.
If the incredible history the Mizpah encompasses isn’t enough to get you here, perhaps the alleged ghost appearances will. Featured on the Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures, the Mizpah is said to have a ghost deemed “The Lady in Red,” who evidently is the spirit of a prostitute who was beaten and murdered on the fifth floor of the hotel by a jealous ex-boyfriend. Another version of her untimely demise is that “The Lady in Red” had been caught cheating by her husband at the hotel after he had missed a train, who proceeded to kill her in a jealous rage. Although specifics on her identity are unknown, she undoubtedly resided on the fifth floor full time and was strangled and stabbed outside her lavish suite. Stay in the Lady in Red Room in 504, or if you're braver than most, try a night in the allegedly haunted room in 502. She has also made appearances in the original elevator the hotel features, which at its installation was the fastest elevator in the state! The third floor is rumored to have several ghosts of children playing throughout the hallways as well.
The Mizpah has been such a success, the owners are planning to expand the property with gaming and a brewery. For a comfortable and memorable stay in Tonopah, be sure you reserve your spot at the Mizpah. A true must see when visiting the Silver State!
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