Originally Published: September 1, 2018 4:43 p.m.
Updated as of Saturday, September 1, 2018 9:11 PM
The Prescott Valley Motel’s angular red-arrow sign has flashed a neon welcome to area visitors for more than 50 years. But sometime next year, the motel — and perhaps its iconic sign too — will disappear forever.
Known as Prescott Valley’s first motel, the 23-room “motor inn” located just off Navajo Road and Highway 69 is slated for demolition, to be replaced by a new super-sized Circle K gas station and C-store.
The deal paving the way for the redevelopment of the old motel property closed escrow at the end of July. Sale price: $1.95 million.
Angie Sumner of Sumner Commercial Real Estate in Prescott Valley represented Amrish and Rama Patel, the sellers in the transaction. The Patel’s had owned the motel since 1988.
Phoenix-based Jones Lang LaSalle was the broker for Circle K.
Sumner said she hopes the motel’s vintage sign will manage to escape the wrecking ball.
“Circle K has hinted that they would like to use it somehow in the new development,” Sumner said. “But if they don’t, I sure hope it can be saved. It should be displayed somewhere around town, maybe even the Civic Center.”
Corporate officials at Circle K, which is headquartered in Tempe, have yet to unveil their blueprint for the redevelopment project at the 3-acre motel site, which also includes the Ynot Lounge, closed for at least five years now.
Circle K also has not disclosed its plans for two smaller, older stores located just a few blocks farther west on Highway 69 from the motel site.
Ben Hooper, Prescott Valley’s economic development coordinator, confirmed this past week that the company’s redevelopment plan for the motel property has already gone through the town’s Initial Project Review process.
“We do not know their timeline yet,” Hooper said. “The next step will be to demo the building, which (Circle K) will need a permit for so we will know when that’s going to happen. Then they will turn in their site plans and once approved, should begin construction.”
The Prescott Valley Motel, built in 1967, is still open, offering lodging to guests, including a number of area construction crews, who pony up about $60 for a room with three queen beds.
Marilyn Colclasure and her fiancé, Michael Basinger, together with their two young children, have been renting a room at the motel since arriving from southern California in July.
“We’ll probably have to stay here at least another month,” said Colclasure, who is 6 months pregnant.
“I’m on Craigslist constantly, and it’s just so hard to find an apartment around here that’s affordable,” Colclasure said. “But the motel manager has been really good about letting us pay a little late sometimes.”
The couple are paying $1,600 a month for their room, which has two queen beds.
“We’re hurting right now,” Basinger said before hurrying off to his job as a floor covering installer. “We really don’t want to have our baby in a motel.”
Sumner said the motel’s current operators have 10 more months remaining on their lease to operate the motel, “So more than likely Circle K will not tear down the motel down until at least the middle of next year.”
Circle K’s real estate broker did not respond to requests for more information about the redevelopment timeline, and company officials also did not immediately reply to a Daily Courier inquiry about the project.
Hooper thinks Circle K’s plans for the old PV Motel property dovetail nicely with a number of other projects the company will soon begin around Prescott Valley.
“Circle K also owns the land that is generally located at the southeast corner of Glassford Hill Road and Highway 69,” he said. “My understanding is that they intend to build another new Circle K there.”
Hooper said that project has been temporarily delayed because of access issues off Highway 69. “I know the state transportation department is (currently) working with the company on those issues.”
Circle K traces its roots to 1951 when Fred Hervey bought three Kay’s Food Stores in El Paso, Texas.
After going through a period of rapid expansion, the company filed for bankruptcy protection in 1990 and changed hands several times before being acquired in 2003 by its current owner, Canadian-based multinational Alimentation Couche-Tard.
Today, Circle K has more than 20,000 employees and operates some 3,300 stores in 34 states as well as more than 4,000 locations in Asia and Latin America.