If you've driven west on Highway 50 in Orchard Mesa, you may have noticed fencing going up in front of the old abandoned pink motel on the north side of the highway. What's going on?

I placed a call to the city of Grand Junction earlier today. It appears the old Artesia Motel at 640 Highway 50 recently put in for a fence permit. What's the motivation behind that?

As an Orchard Mesa resident, I find this fascinating. For some reason I've always enjoyed this property. I stopped by later this morning and spoke with the owner. The purpose behind the new fence is obvious; to keep people out of the property. He says he has owned the property for roughly five years, and has several ideas for its future.

Google Maps

Recently, a request was submitted to rezone the area. Currently, the address of 640 Highway 50 is zoned as RD, which stands for Residential Estate.

The rezoning request asks for the designations of R-8, which allows for eight dwellings per acre, and C-1, which is Light Commercial. The rezoning request asks that the property be reestablished as:

  • 3 acres as C-1
  • 15 acres as R-8

Before we go too far, there's the matter of the name. Looking at the dilapidated sign, to me it reads "Artesia Motel." If you do a search, it comes up on some city sites as "Artesian Motel." According to opac.marmot.org, its proper name is the Artesia Motel, and it is an Art Deco hotel built by Gilbert Limberg in 1936.

Artesia motel
Arlie Jordan

A few years ago I wrote a post about the property. The topic of the post involved plans as to what I would do if I owned it. My ideas involved either a Jazz club or a gourmet coffee shop The matter was then taken to a vote. Most of you disagreed with my plans. In the end, 35.29% of those who voted suggested it would be best to reopen it as a motel. In any event, I do not now nor have I ever owned the property, so this was really just a dream I was playing out.

It's going to be fun watching this project develop. Again, at this time, it's still a matter of rezoning requests being submitted. While speaking with reps from the city, it was clear no concrete plans were as yet in place.

No matter the future plans, I hope some of the original structure stays intact. There's something fascinating about the idea of a pink and white "fortress" located off the highway in Grand Junction. The owner struck me as a very nice person with a sincere appreciation for this particular property. Somehow I suspect excellent use will be made of this structure and the surrounding property in the near future.

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