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The Black Range Lodge

The Black Range Lodge is a "bed and breakfast" style of lodging in the woodlands of Hillsboro, New Mexico. The property is known for its ability to host group meetings of various kinds, for its extended history as a lodging entity, and its unique exterior appearance. In addition to the main lodge, there are a few cottages and a six-room home that comprise the property. The Black Range Lodge has a long history that dates back to the late 1800s, when it was originally made to house the miners that worked in the surrounding area. The property has its very own on-site massage therapist that is able to give guests a massage, though it isn't included with the price of a reservation.

About

There are a handful of buildings that make up The Black Range Lodge, though the main lodge itself is certainly the focal point of the property. The lodge is a three-story building that was constructed in two main phases during the 1880s and 1930s. Distinct cobblestone walls adorn the outside of the building, and they are accented with rustic log porches and pillars, which have been painted over with light red coloring. Trees and grassy areas surround The Black Range Lodge, adding to its inherently rural nature.

Though the official address of the bed and breakfast places it within the town limits of Hillsboro, New Mexico, the three acres which make up the property's boundaries are, in fact, nine miles west of the main bulk of the small city. This distance puts the property within the borders of Gila National Forest, which spans through much of western New Mexico.

The Black Range Lodge has seven rooms in its main lodge, all located on the second floor. The owner, Catherine Wanek, takes up personal residence on the third floor. The first floor is home to many of the building's common areas, such as a lobby, a gaming/dining room, an office, and a kitchen. Catherine explains that "the amount of common space on the property exceeds the guest room space." These common areas extend to the building's exterior surroundings, where guests are free to enjoy a large yard with chairs, tables, grills, and the usage of portable fire pits. In addition to the main lodge, there is a guest house with six bedrooms that is available as a conglomerate unit.

The home is called The Percha Creek House, and it contains four bathrooms, a large kitchen, and two outdoor decks. Part of any overnight fee on the property includes participation in a home-cooked breakfast. The breakfasts at The Black Range Lodge are occasionally mixed-up, though the basic items which are served often include homemade bread, bacon, eggs, and oatmeal of some kind. Things such as coffee, tea, fruit, orange juice, and yogurt are always available as side dishes/drinks. There is a small bookstore on the property, where Catherine sells some of the books which she has authored over the years, as well as other historical and/or ecological titles from other local writers.

Over the years, Catherine has noticed that the Apache Room is their most-requested unit, and in her opinion, it is because "that room has the best online pictures." She finds that the size of the room and the number of windows are the two largest factors for why guests might prefer one unit to another. Large, high-count window rooms usually trend toward higher occupancy and thus are associated with higher nightly price.

Culture

Catherine Wanek, the longstanding owner of The Black Range Lodge, describes the desired culture of her property as "relaxed and ecological." She considers it to be "a nature lodge" where guests have the chance to escape from urban elements for a time and "get out into the fresh air." Due to the secluded nature of the bed and breakfast, guests often come to the area to enjoy nature and unwind rather than engaging in a wide assortment of specific events or activities. That being said, one of the largest draws of The Black Range Lodge is its potential to host larger group events.

Catherine estimates that around 50% of the business's total occupancy is made up of groups who rent out the whole property. These more extensive sets of people participate in events such as ecological retreats, church retreats, family reunions, and music camps. The music camps, in particular, have been considerably successful in Catherine's eyes. The Black Range Lodge will frequently hire a caterer for the events that it hosts.

Speaking of its ecological nature, the bed and breakfast has many components set in place to promote actions such as composting, recycling, and increasing "green awareness." Catherine is in the process of starting a "Homestead Project" within the community in which she will attempt to improve the general soil quality and other ecological matters.

Guest reviews of the lodge have been generally positive. One visitor to the property said, "This is a historic, rustic lodge run by 3 siblings, one of which is an author of strawbale homebuilding. Built of stone, timbers and concrete, has several lodge rooms upstairs and two common areas, up and down. Hot, full breakfasts served in the kitchen/dining area. Located in a tiny, remote village which was once a bustling mining town. Beautiful area next to the Gila National Forest." Another guest explained their experience in the following manner: "What a special place to spend time with loved ones and connect with nature. We loved soaking in the hot tub, watching the chickens, playing frisbee, working on puzzles, walking around town and watching movies."

Another unique aspect of the property is its in-house massage therapist, Gary Harvell. For an additional fee, guests can experience a massage during their stay at the property. The Black Range Lodge is open year-round, and they see their largest spike in occupancy during fall months. One unique aspect of the area coming into development is the Spaceport America facility, an hour and a half to the east. Spaceport is projected to be the first "purpose-built commercial spaceport" in the world.

History

About one-third of The Black Range Lodge was constructed back in the 1880s. From the beginning, the property was designed to be a lodging entity, though initially, it served almost exclusively miners. Hillsboro, New Mexico, had only formed about ten years prior when gold and silver were discovered within the Black Rangeā€”a series of mountains that make up the eastern portions of the Gila National Forest. Later, in the 1930s, the property was expanded. Specifically, the main lodge became the size that it is today, and the demographic focus shifted from miners to hunters. In the 1970s, an additional unit was added to the composition of the property: The Percha Creek House. It is unclear when precisely the property became known as The Black Range Lodge. However, the property's current owner explains that by the time it gained its current name, the size and development of The Black Range Lodge was mostly as it is seen today.

The owner's name is Catherine Wanek, and she has been the sole owner of the bed and breakfast since the 1980s. She has made it a personal priority to expand the world's awareness of ecological construction methods, having written books and made videos to explain such topics. Her favorite part about being an "innkeeper" has been the ability to meet many different people from various parts of the world. One of her long-time business partners is Gary Harvell, who cooks breakfasts and acts as an in-house massage therapist.

Click for directions on Google
Established
1880s
Location

119 Main Street
Kingston, New Mexico 88042
United States

Type

Bed and Breakfast

Owners

Catherine Wanek

Owned Since
1980s
Phone
575-895-5652
Reviews
4.7 (1 Reviews)
4.7/5 1 Reviews
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