LAS VEGAS, N.M. (KRQE) – A fire demolished the Inn of Las Vegas Tuesday night. The building had been shuttered for years but before that it was the place to be and held a lot of memories.
Las Vegas residents say they’re sad to see a building with decades of history gone. There is nothing left of the building.
News 13 spoke with a few long-time residents who say this used to be the place in Las Vegas for not only lots of travelers but also tons of community events.
“Unreal that, to see something that was the hub of the community going up in smoke in one evening actually,” said Las Vegas resident Samuel Martinez.
Martinez says he remembers when the Inn opened in 1976. It used to have a dance and pool hall, gas station, service center and a restaurant and hotel with about 70 rooms.
He was one of dozens who stopped at the hotel Wednesday to see what’s left of it but all that remains is a heap of sheet metal and rubble.
A fire sparked somewhere on the massive building Tuesday around 6 p.m.
Lots of people took pictures of the giant smoke plume you could see throughout the town. Las Vegas fire crews say by the time they got to the inn, they could do anything but let the fire burn out. The state fire marshal’s office is now investigating.
The Inn went into foreclosure four years ago and it has been closed and boarded up since.
It was sold to a new owner, Kenny Ross, who owns a few local gas stations.
Ross says wanted to reopen the restaurant and gas station but says he ran into too much red tape and couldn’t afford to do it.
He’s now hopeful something good can come out of the fire. Ross also said that he hopes to get demolition crews in to raise the site in the coming months to clear out the mess.
He’s not sure what he’ll do with the property though.
The state fire marshal hasn’t said what caused the fire but the property owner says he has had a lot of problems with vandalism in the past few years.