Hostel taking shape in downtown Tonopah

A new construction/revitalization project is taking shape in downtown Tonopah, one led by the family that brought the historic Mizpah Hotel back to life in 2011.

Crews are creating a hostel in an old building between the hotel and the town office off Burro Avenue.

When the work is done later this year, 10 lodging units are planned, including eight singles and two doubles.

“It’s an exciting little project,” said John McCormick, the Mizpah’s general manager. “Very, very different than anything else is town.”

The hostel concept is credited to Ramsey Cline, owner of the Mizpah Club casino that opened last year. He is the son of Fred and Nancy Cline, owners of the Mizpah Hotel.

“It is partially my idea,” Ramsey Cline said. “My folks wanted something to use that building for, and I suggested a hostel.”

“Hostels, I have stayed in them,” Ramsey Cline added. “It’s a much more European way of lodging. We get a lot of European tourists through here. That is part of the idea behind it.”

For those not familiar with the concept, Ramsey Cline described a hostel as having a small bedroom, along with some basics.

“It’s really just a bed, a shared bathroom and a shared kitchen,” he said. “What it is designed to be is a very low-cost accommodation.”

“It’s surprisingly expensive to stay in Tonopah for a weekend,” Cline said. “Hopefully this will be a little bit of a lower-cost option …I think it will help bring people to this downtown area.”

He envisions a nightly room cost of $30 to $40 at the hostel.

Hostel as meeting place

Fred Cline mentioned the popularity of hostels.

“There’s people in certain generations like the younger generation that it doesn’t matter what the price of a hostel is,” he said. “They use it as the new meeting place. They don’t necessarily go to bars looking to meet people. Hostels are the way they meet people because they are fellow travelers of the world.”

“Our daughter is in New Zealand right now,” Fred Cline continued. “The first thing she did was she stayed in a hostel, met people from different parts of the world. You trade information and (say) ‘When you come to California look us up, come to Nevada look us up.’”

Fred Cline, who credits his son for the hostel idea, said concepts that also had been considered for the building were along the lines of employee housing. “In reality, the hostel can be that as well. It can be either one. I think it’s a great concept.”

Fred Cline thinks the hostel can draw younger adults who want to visit Tonopah for special events in town or to hear bands.

“They don’t need a big fancy room or anything,” he said. “I understand it. It will be a nice place for them to stay, very reasonably priced, but still right in the center of the action.”

How it works

Officials said the hostel building had once housed an old brewery.

“They got the rooms all studded out, and they are continuing on,” McCormick said last month of the construction. “They are working steady on it.”

At the hostel, travelers can spend a night or two or longer if they wish, McCormick said.

The hostel, McCormick said, also could provide an “ideal situation” for workers coming to town for large-scale construction-type projects.

“The whole idea behind the hostels is that it is usually one or two nights. People are traveling through. They are very, very popular over in Europe. Backpackers spend the night and out they go.”

A name for the hostel and project cost have not been announced. Construction is being conducted by Nevada general contractor Bill Bunting, who led the building effort for the Mizpah Club casino’s opening in 2016. He is assisted by a crew that started the hostel project in late 2016.

The hostel is just a short distance from the Mizpah Hotel.

“I think it’s going to help the business here,” McCormick said of the hotel. “You are going to have a couple of different types of travelers. Those who are actually looking for hostels, workers who all they want is the basics. They want a bathroom, they want a bed. Then you have the clientele over here who are looking for the historic hotel, haunted hotel type of experience.”

The hostel building came along with purchase of the Mizpah Hotel by the Clines, said McCormick, who expects the hostel to carry a Mineral Street address.

The hostel building, however, had not been used in decades, he said. “The structure is good, the structure is solid. The interior needed new floors. We’re putting up room studs and that sort of thing.”

All new plumbing and electrical work are being run. Roofing work also is part of the effort.

On-site parking is to be available.

Contact reporter David Jacobs at djacobs@tonopahtimes.com