Our journey with this Motel is just beginning, but it all started with a wrong turn.
When leaving Big Bend National Park, the driver (not mentioning names) missed the turn to Fort Stockton out of Marathon. An hour later we ended up in Sanderson, and a bit confused. After checking the iPhone for a re-route we ended up on some of the most beautiful desert roads leading up to Ozona.
A couple of months later we were craving another trip to west Texas. In the past we had always spent our first night in Fort Stockton, but the hotel prices were tracking with the oil business in the area. It was then we remembered our accidental detour through Sanderson. After looking online, we found a motel in Sanderson and booked it! Our first evening back in west Texas we got to discover Sanderson, and we loved it!
The next morning we headed off to Big Bend and spent a few days in the park. Our last night in the park we were hanging out at our back country campsite when another camper pulled up. Turns out, when we were reserving our site at the beginning of our stay, the park ranger made an error in our reservation. So we had to relinquish our campsite... but that's ok, we'll head back to Sanderson!
We spent the night in Sanderson, and as we were leaving the Stripes Gas Station the next morning, we noticed a 'For Sale' sign in front of the Desert Air Motel. We chuckled about the possibility of owning a motel in west Texas. When we stopped chuckling, we decided to call the number listed... One thing led to another.
For more about our story, read our blog posts that go into more detail. Link
We plan on preserving the charm of Desert Air Motel, but we also want to make changes that will increase the guest experience here. We have found some pieces of the past, like the orginal blue door paint, which we plan to keep. Other pieces of the past we will leave in the past, like the fragmented pink and peach fragments of paint in the breezeway.
At the top of our agenda is to add more shaded outdoor areas for guests to enjoy. We have already added a shaded arbor with swings and seating. Now we wait for the plants to establish their roots and flourish.
The latest completed project was opening up and finishing the breezeway that connects to the back yard. This project has been the most transforming for the grounds as it improves the flow and openess of the walkways.
There are big plans for the back yard where the bus is situated and grey water reclamation to water the landscaping. Send us a note if you have any ideas for the bus!
We have started installing solar panels on the motel to offset the electrical usage. As owners in the solar business, solar was always a priority and no-brainer.
A handful of the rooms have had carpet relaced with tile to make them more comforable and appealing. While vintage is cool—sometimes old is just old, and the carpets were old.
Our journey with the Desert Air Motel will be documented on our blog with posts on Facebook and Instagram as well. Join us and let us know what you thing of the progress.
The Desert Air Motel was built in 1960. There is no way around the vintage feel of cinder block walls and pink bathroom tiles. We admire the sturdy construction of days gone by that has allowed the motel to withstand desert conditions for over 60 years. Clearly we are smitten with the orignal Desert Air vintage sign and will repaint the current sign back to its original design. We are the fifth owner of the motel. We are currently researching the history and will update the website as we learn more.