Brunswick Hotel latest victim of sour economy

100-year-old downtown landmark will close, owner says

KINGMAN - One of Kingman's most iconic landmarks may be shutting its doors within a week.

Debra Sixta, owner of the Hotel Brunswick, said she is hoping to stay open through at least next Monday. The future of the business beyond that is uncertain.

"The bills keep going up and the income keeps going down," she said.

Sixta has operated the hotel since Feb. 2009. At that time, her utilities averaged $1,600 a month. Now it's not unusual to receive a bill for $3,600.

"Everything keeps going up," she said. "Electric's more, payroll taxes are more, liquor liability is more," she said.

Sixta estimates that she loses anywhere from $4,000 to $5,000 a month. That's on top of repairs and maintenance that is an on-going issue for the hotel, which has operated on Route 66 in historic downtown Kingman for more than 100 years.

The hotel was built in 1909 by John Mulligan and J.W. Thompson. It was the area's first 3-story building made out of local tufa stone.

The pair split operation of the hotel and restaurant in half after they began feuding over a woman, whom Mulligan ended up marrying. Their daughter died in 1920 after falling down the staircase on her tricycle. Legend has it that the toddler has haunted the hotel ever since.

Clark Gable and Barry Goldwater are among some of the hotel's famous guests.

Ownership of the hotel has changed hands numerous times over the years. It was closed for 20 years before Rennie and Pat Davis bought the property in 1994. They closed it after just 13 months, citing lack of business.

Sixta said the hotel, restaurant and bar plays host to a number of regulars who enjoy the nightly musical entertainment.

"They're pretty upset," she said.

Sixta said she has a number of ideas for the hotel, including lunch specials and catering, and said it breaks her heart to have to close.

"It's an authentic, historic hotel," she said.