Mizpah Hotel, Tonopah, Nevada

In 1907, Mizpah Hotel opened as one of the first luxury hotels in Nevada. With a rich history and elaborate decor, the hotel is best known for its legend of the “Lady in Red.” While the date remains unclear, the story goes like this: A woman was murdered in her room on the fifth floor — some say it was a jealous ex-boyfriend, others say the Lady in Red had been caught cheating by her husband and he killed her in a jealous rage — and today she haunts guests.

Those who’ve stayed at the hotel say the Lady in Red whispers in men’s ears and leaves pearls from her broken necklace on guests pillows. Guests can stay in the Lady in Red suite to experience it themselves, and if that’s too much for you, the Red Lady Bloody Mary at the hotel restaurant should suffice.

The Mizpah and the nearby Belvada Building, both five stories high, shared the title of tallest building in Nevada until 1927. The hotel was named after the Mizpah Mine and was the social hub of Tonopah. The hotel was pre-dated by the Mizpah Saloon, which opened in 1907, and was the first permanent structure in Tonopah. The reinforced concrete hotel was faced with stone on the front and brick on the sides and rear. The neighboring three-story Brougher-Govan Block, with rooms on the upper floors, served as the first Mizpah and remains connected. Cast iron columns were used in the windows and fire escapes. The three and five story buildings are joined with a wood stairway crowned with a skylight. Steam heat was provided, along with the first elevator in Tonopah.

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According to legend, Wyatt Earp kept the saloon, Jack Dempsey was a bouncer, and Howard Hughes married Jean Peters at the Mizpah. But Wyatt Earp left Tonopah before the Mizpah was built, Hughes was married in Tonopah, but not at the Mizpah, and Dempsey asserted he was never a bouncer. The hotel nevertheless features the Jack Dempsey Room and the Wyatt Earp Bar.

The hotel had been shuttered since 1999, but in early 2011, the hotel was purchased by Fred and Nancy Cline of Cline Cellars, Sonoma, Calif., who renovated and reopened the building to the public in August 2011.[ The newly renovated hotel features 47 rooms, a bar, and two restaurants; The Pittman Cafe and the more upscale Jack Dempsey Room. There are plans to renovate further rooms in the hotel annex and to add a small casino to the property.