Post details: mountain inn

01/22/05

Permalink 01:25:49 pm, Categories: Urban Exploration, 996 words   English (US)

mountain inn

I finally made time to go see the Mountain Inn in Fayetteville, Arkansas yesterday. I'd been meaning to see this huge, abandoned hotel for close to two years now. I kept putting it off because Fayetteville's a bit of a drive for me, and I wasn't sure I'd be able to get inside the place anyway. As luck would have it, I was able to find a way in.

It took a little driving around the city to find the hotel, because I wasn't familiar with Fayetteville and the weekend traffic was really nuts. When I finally did find it, I was little disappointed to see that it sat directly next door to the courthouse, a hospital, and a big-ass federal building. Basically, this was not a good place to get caught trespassing, unless your idea of a good time is getting detained for a few hours while they make sure you're not al-Qaeda.

I ended up parking in the visitor parking of the federal building. I was a little uneasy about that, but I couldn't find a spot anywhere else. I made a quick walk around the front of the hotel, but all the entrances I saw were either boarded up or locked, not to mention in plain view of all the restaurants and businesses nearby. The hotel had its own parking garage, but I could see that some cars, probably for the buildings next door, were still using it so I passed by it as well.

There was an alley between the buildings, but all the doors back there appeared to be locked, except for one where I accidently walked into the kitchen of a restaurant. I found a stairwell nearby with an open door that led to the parking garage. I was worried about running into someone going to their car, but I wandered around anyway.

To keep other people from doing it, I won't say exactly how I got in. Suffice to say, in involved me crawling literally inside a wall through insulation until I ended up inside the hotel.

Inside, the hotel was trashed beyond anything I've ever seen. I've seen lots of abandoned buildings and places where kids like to party, but this was light years beyond any of it. It looked like someone had come through with a sledgehammer or some other blunt object and destroyed everything they could. Ceiling tiles were everywhere. Every mirrored wall and column was broken. Chairs and tables were smashed everywhere. It looked like everything that could be broken had been, and then spraypainted on top of it.

I went room to room, floor to floor after that, taking pictures of it all. Every one was the same story: trashed.

Around the second or third story, I found that there was an outdoor patio with a pool. The patio had been spraypainted worse than anything, and the pool was full of furniture, televisions, anything you could throw from the upper floors. You could see the broken windows where people had done just that. I wanted to go down into the pool and take pictures, but it was in plain sight of the federal building next door. I wasn't even able to explore the patio was much as I wanted.

I checked out the upper floors after that, taking well over a hundred pictures. About the sixth or seventh floor I found a section of roof you could walk out on, but I couldn't do it because of the federal building.

The top floor was a little different. There was smoke damage everywhere, and some of the rooms on one side had appeared to have burned. There was a spongy layer of ash on the floor and burnt mattresses and furniture. The walls were black from it all.

I found the door to the roof in the stairwell after that, but it appeared to be bolted shut from the other side. I found another section of roof on a lower floor that I could go onto without being seen, but it didn't have a ladder to the highest section of roof. I spent a little time searching for a way up, and finally found that you could get to the roof from the top floor of the adjacent parking garage. Problem was, you were in plain sight of every building nearby, including the federal building. Add to that, they'd removed the rungs on the ladder to the roof and it was going to be a rough, slow climb up and down.

I decided I'd just have to live without seeing the roof and set out to leave, figuring at this point someone had to have seen me milling around with my camera on the parking garage. Rather than risk being seen leaving the building or finding someone waiting for me, I went to a lower section of the roof, crossed to a nearby building, and opened one of the windows into what seemed to be a vacant office building. I headed downstairs, finding myself in the lobby of a couple restaurants, and casually breezed out the front door like I knew what the hell I was doing.

On the way back to my car, I didn't notice anybody, so I decided to take some pictures of the outside of the building. I headed over next to the federal building to get a better view. As I was taking pictures, I noticed a security guard coming out of the federal building, shaking his head and frowning.

Oh shit, I thought. I'm busted.

"You're on the wrong side of the street," he said, smiling as if he were a little embarassed about it. "You're not allowed to take pictures this close to the federal building anymore."

I apologized, extremely relieved that that was all he'd wanted. He pointed across the street where I could take pictures from. I thanked him, crossed the street to get the last few pictures I needed, and headed back to my car.

Comments, Pingbacks:

Comment from: d4rkism [Visitor]
Rather than risk being seen leaving the building or finding someone waiting for me, I went to a lower section of the roof, crossed to a nearby building, and opened one of the windows into what seemed to be a vacant office building. I headed downstairs, finding myself in the lobby of a couple restaurants, and casually breezed out the front door like I knew what the hell I was doing.

Now THAT'S style. Nice work as always, Rabbit.
Permalink 01/22/05 @ 13:43
Comment from: ann marie [Visitor]
The red room on page 7 is the same color as my master bath. Nice color.

Otherwise, the place looked pretty trashed. Good pics. :)
Permalink 01/30/05 @ 19:13
Comment from: Kodiak [Visitor] · http://www.kodiakskorner.com
It looks like it was once a very nice place. What a shame that it has become so run down.
Permalink 02/05/05 @ 01:50
Comment from: Elaine [Visitor]
I attended the UofA from 1977 to 1980 and remember going to the hotel from time to time. My parents stayed at this hotel a time or two when they visited me, as well as other parents staying there who visited my friends. It seems we had some kind of reception/recruiting thing there as well with one of the big accounting firms. Its a shame that its so trashed. I remember the pool out on the patio, really impressive to see back then. Enjoyed seeing the pics. Keep up the good work.
Permalink 02/09/05 @ 22:28
Comment from: Shannon [Visitor]
How disappointing to see it so trashed! And with it being so hard to get into, I suppose I'll cross this one off my list. =\

Nice work!
Permalink 04/03/05 @ 00:46
Comment from: psychokitten78 [Visitor]
I guess it was around 95 or so my oldest brother became friends with the owners of the building (used to be some funky transindental meditationists)...Anyways..somehow he talked them into letting him rent out a floor...so he and a friend rented the top floor...

So I've been there alot...(on the roof as well)...it's a very strange place...with a very strange vibe...esspecially driving up that parking garage at night...used to give me the creeps...

I do know that the police have a hell of a time with vagrants in there all the time and have to do alot of sweeps of the place...which is part of the reason they're taking it down...
Permalink 05/27/05 @ 22:24
Comment from: US 71 [Visitor]
The Mountain Inn is approx 50 percent gone now (14 June 2005). I remember it from the late 60's / early 70's : it was a really nice place. A shame to see it get so run down that it had to be razed. :`(
Permalink 06/14/05 @ 22:48
Comment from: Eric [Visitor]
Just found this site & glad to see these pics of a now gone great old building. In 1986-88 I was part of a group of folks who rented out the basement of the Mtn. Inn & put on Music shows. Probably the most famous (now, not then) band we booked was The Flaming Lips, but also some very cool lesser known punk/indie/whatever bands played there too: The Leaving Trains, & the Rhythm Pigs, as well as our local bands: jesus Lee Jones, The Scumbunnies, the stompers & the great fayetteville bluesman Jojo Thompson. like most venues of this sort, this arrangment didn't last & we moved on to get kicked out of various other spaces around town. The basement of the Mtn. Inn was actually a bar in the 70s, called the Brass Monkey. it was a hangout for the local Young Democrats & reportedly where Clinton partied when he lived in Fayetteville. when we moved in ther we found, among other things, a signed Peter Max print on the floor.
Permalink 12/26/05 @ 01:17
Comment from: Barbra [Visitor]
I have driven by this place a million times and always wanted to check it out. Thanks for not making me risk arrest, as always ya'll rock!
Permalink 05/10/06 @ 16:20
Comment from: Skim [Visitor]
Just curious... Does anyone know why it closed in 1998? The hotel market there isn't exactly stagnant.
Permalink 11/26/06 @ 21:44
Comment from: Rubberduckiemom [Visitor]
When I was a kid in the 1970's, my parents and I stayed here. I thought I was pretty important to stay in the "Red Room". I it was really nice, from what I can remember. Too bad it all went down hill. It was a really nice place to stay, the people who worked there were awesome... gave me ice cream and treats. Hey, I was a kid! Thank you for taking the chance you did to document what happened to it.
Permalink 10/31/07 @ 12:32
Comment from: Ash [Visitor] · http://myspace.com/shiftypunk88
Sooo does anyone kno why this hotel was shut down??? Im very curious.
Permalink 01/06/08 @ 15:35
Comment from: JWS [Visitor]
Not sure why it closed but a big developer bought the property and promised the City they would demolish the bldg. and build a nice new highrise hotel. Well it got demolished and then the building boom in NW Arkansas went bust...along with the development company. Now the site is just a big hole in the ground with a high fence.
Permalink 02/22/08 @ 19:56
Comment from: Karl Childers [Visitor]
This is more urban legend than gospel truth.
The hotel was purchased by someone out of state as an investment. they were caught in some financial hijinks and the hotel was closed during the investigation. The owners wouldn't (couldn't?) sell so the hotel just went unused and then the local nomads started moving in and trashing theplace. It eventually was declared unsalvageable.

A couple of local devleopers then worked out a lucrative deal with the city where they would demolish the building and replace it with a gleaming new Marriott. It turned out to be a scam (and neither the first nor last perpetrated by these developers on the good natured but dim witted Fayetteville city government.) There is a parking lot there now.
Permalink 03/21/09 @ 13:20
Comment from: Matt McN [Visitor]
The previous poster is incorrect, but understandably frustrated. AMA Regi/Nock Investments was responsible for the plan involving the now former Mountain Inn site, where they planned (plan) to build a 18 story Renaissance Hotel. The problems with the project were financing, the firm lost hundreds of thousands of dollars renting and erecting a 22 story crane for the project, digging the foundation hole, and paying the city $25,000 a month in fines for delayed construction. AMA Regi/Nock paid all the fines they were supposed to and are still redeveloping a large number of downtown properties successfully, but were unable to obtain the $40million needed in financing for this project in the current economic climate. Someday there will be a significant property there, and it was certainly not a scam, just a series of unfortunate circumstances coupled with construction delays due to Marriott corporate approvals.
Permalink 08/31/09 @ 18:23
Comment from: Rich [Visitor]
The Mountain inn used to be a great place, you could sit in the hot tub on the oatio and watch the mountains cover ith snow, Bill Clinton was a regular anytime the Gov had business in n part of state he stayed there and partyed at Brass monkey with Billie and friends, The bar upstairs was remodled to show of the view, Don Tyson (Tyson Chicken) and San Walton (Walmart) were requlars also nicest people in the world Great town miss the memories and people there,
Permalink 11/05/09 @ 15:02
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Permalink 11/29/09 @ 13:08
Comment from: kev [Visitor]
when I was in high school a group of us would go exploring there somewhat regularly. We would always go at night and we would go in through the roof of the parking deck where you could climb on this air conditioner platform and into a window that had been already busted in by what we assumed to be the last generation of explorers.
I'll tell you in the middle of the night it's the scariest thing in the world. I look at all of those pictures and I remember us jumping every time we saw something like a chair in front of a door: "oh shit! somebody put that there! we're not supposed to go in that room guys..." We were under every suspicion that there were crackheads/zombies living there at the bottom floors (since we came in near the middle the scariest thing to do was proceed lower), so everything we saw we interpreted as a sign that people were there and didn't want us peeping around.

True story: at the room where we came in through the busted window above the air conditioner platform, there was a lead pipe that had a rotary saw blade tied to the end by a phone cord. we referred to it as the "saw bat" and the person in the front always had the saw bat in one hand and a flashlight in the other. We would always leave it at the same room as that is the way we always left, but we have no idea how it got there.

I moved away from AR a while ago but I'm glad to see some pictures that really bring back some memories. You really should have gone at night, though.
Permalink 05/21/10 @ 15:35

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