DEL NORTE— The old El Rancho Motel on Grande Avenue in Del Norte has been purchased and is in the process of being remodeled by Jessica Lovelace with LVLCE Hotel Group.
Lovelace visited the area last Christmas with her husband who grew up in the Valley and fell in love with the old motel. “The minute I saw it I could see the possibilities and decided to purchase the property,” said Lovelace.
The property used to be known as the El Rancho Motel and though many people remember the motel from their childhood, Lovelace hasn’t been able to find out much about the property or what it used to be back in the day. The property has been vacant for many years and at one time, another company had considered turning the structure into an apartment complex which ultimately fell through.
“We haven’t been able to find out much about the property, but I know what I would like to do with it and think it would really add to the Del Norte area. A lot of people remember little things about it and have mentioned visiting it in their childhood, but so far that is all we have found,” stated Lovelace. The plans are to completely restore the building and make it a full-service motel.
Lovelace has been in corporate design for several years and spent 15 years of her life traveling the world, staying in various hotels in different countries. “In my travels I have found that I really enjoy the ambiance of boutique hotels and would like to incorporate that into this property. There will be 18 rooms, two of which will be suites. My husband and I are very outdoorsy kind of people and we want to cater to the active crowd that comes to Del Norte,” explained Lovelace.
“My husband’s great-grandmother owned a restaurant in Salida called the Mellow Moon and after some consideration we decided to name the motel the same thing in honor of his grandmother. “We are planning on having a boutique motel type setting with a clean and modern environment for people who come to the area to enjoy the outdoor recreational opportunities. Del Norte is growing so quickly now with the new school, nursing home and hospital addition and we are excited to be part of that,” said Lovelace.
Lovelace stated that work is currently being done on the property and hopes to have the Mellow Moon Motor Lodge open in the spring of next year, just in time for the busy season in the Valley. “We are really looking forward to this project and being involved in the community. I was immediately interested in the property and I am very excited to see what we can do with it.”