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Mon, Nov. 11

Hassayampa Inn's Peacock Room gets facelift

Patrick Whitehurst/The Daily Courier<br>
Hassayampa Inn General Manager Michael Kouvelas and New Vista Builders President Lee Vega stand outside the entrance to the historic Peacock Room at Hassayampa Inn. Remodeling work, which began Jan. 2, is expected to finish in February. The room is scheduled to reopen Feb. 13, the day before Valentine’s Day.

Patrick Whitehurst/The Daily Courier<br> Hassayampa Inn General Manager Michael Kouvelas and New Vista Builders President Lee Vega stand outside the entrance to the historic Peacock Room at Hassayampa Inn. Remodeling work, which began Jan. 2, is expected to finish in February. The room is scheduled to reopen Feb. 13, the day before Valentine’s Day.

PRESCOTT - Keeping the historic value of the Peacock Room is important to the Hassayampa Inn, and to the downtown area.

For that reason, Hassayampa Inn General Manager Michael Kouvelas is working with Lee Vega, president of New Vista Builders, on the Gurley Street restaurant and bar's current remodel. Not only is Vega a member of the Prescott Preservation Commission, but he also was involved in the remodel of the Hassayampa Inn's Marina Room a decade ago. The Peacock Room is scheduled to reopen Thursday, Feb. 13, in time for Valentine's Day.

Work on the remodel began in early January after the owners of the Inn discussed the project for about a year, Kouvelas said. The Hassayampa Inn, including the Peacock Room and others, is known for lively events, such as live music on weekends and more.

"We're keeping the historic value, if you will, of the Peacock Room, because it is part of the Hassayampa, which is the jewel of the Prescott community, but we're adding a contemporary feel to it as well," he said.

The room last underwent renovations in 1985.

"We're still keeping that art deco feel to it, just modernizing it a little bit and making it have a more comfortable feel," Kouvelas said.

While working on the historic building, in the neighboring 1927 Room, crews discovered original hard oak floors underneath the carpet.

"We actually changed and modified the plan once we saw those there. Lee's going to re-finish those and re-stain them and put them back in. We're excited about that find," Kouvelas said.

Vega said he's making every effort to modernize the establishment, but working to keep its historic appeal intact.

"Prescott has such a history. I've never lived anywhere that has this much history, in the towns and the buildings," Vega said. "The remodel is a mix of ensuring that the previous, existing architectural elements are maintained. The woodwork in this building is exquisite, so we ensure that we're protecting that and, in some instances, restoring it, because 85 years can take its toll. We have a high standard to adhere to."

During the renovations, dining provided by Executive Chef Jason Perkins remains available to visitors and guests in other areas of the landmark inn, including the Arizona Room.

Vega's work in the Marina Room at Hassayampa Inn included the addition of kitchen areas, a conference room, rooftop dining and more. The building itself once belonged to a telephone company before its remodel by the Otwell Group.

"It was an old telephone switching station," Vega said. "The design elements in that building were meant to reflect the period in which it was built."

Follow reporter Patrick Whitehurst on Twitter @pwdcourier

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