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An architect’s rendering of the Pecos Inn’s exterior renovation.

Pecos Inn, Artesia’s Best Western hotel, is receiving a facelift.

The inn, a local landmark since the 1980s, easily distinguishable by its adobe-style design, will be a bit less “Southwestern” once the exterior work is complete in a few weeks, but general manager Sandy Johnson is excited about the update, bittersweet though it may be.

“I kind of hate to see the Southwest part go,” Johnson said last week. “They’re saying we can keep it to a degree, we just can’t be as Southwest as we were.”

The most immediate and drastic change as of Thursday was the toppling of the hotel’s porte-cochère. The new one, as seen in the accompanying architect’s rendering, will give Pecos Inn’s façade a more modern look, as will the bump-outs that will add dimension to the exterior and alter its flat roof line.

The Southwestern feel will also be toned down in the lobby area, though Johnson says the hotel will be allowed to keep some of the theme intact.

Construction work amps up Thursday outside the Pecos Inn. (Brienne Green – Daily Press)

The lobby area will be re-tiled, as will a portion of the sala, but Artesians will be happy to hear Pecos Inn’s pleasing, naturally-lit interior space will remain otherwise unchanged, as will the pool area. The skylights in both were replaced not long ago, meaning new tiling is all that’s required, and new tile will also be laid in the public restrooms.

As for the guest rooms, they were remodeled in 2008 with custom-built furniture from South Dakota, so new carpeting is all they will require, allowing Pecos Inn to remain fully open for business during the ongoing construction.

“We’re open and hoping people will be patient with our change of entrances,” Johnson said.

Currently, access to the Pecos Inn lobby is available through its side doors, which face east, and access to the hotel’s restaurant is available through its lounge entrance on the west side of the building.

Johnson says front access to the restaurant is expected to be restored by this week, however, and the lobby’s north-facing doors will be back in commission within the next two to three weeks.

The Pecos Inn’s in-house restaurant recently made the switch from Chef Lupe’s to the Roadrunner Grill, offering Mexican and American fare.

“We have a new operator in there who’s doing a really good job,” Johnson said.

The restaurant’s interior was updated when it was still operating as Chef Lupe’s. New carpeting was also laid not long ago in the hotel halls and stairways, and will be added soon to the meeting space.

Johnson says Pecos Inn’s updating has been about five years coming. Around 2011, Best Western began updating its hotels based on customer satisfaction and Best Western scores.

“We were fortunate enough that people have been very happy with us,” Johnson said, “so we were high enough in those satisfaction scores that we were able to be more toward the end of the updating period.”

Johnson says she expects all exterior work on the hotel, including repainting, to be complete by March, and Pecos Inn will plan a grand opening for then.

“It will be good,” she said. “We’re excited about it and looking forward to showing the finished product to the public.”