The Sunset Motel is located approximately 35 miles east of Albuquerque on Old Route 66, in the small town of Moriarty, NM. The motel was constructed in five stages, from 1954 until 1969. There was no rush as the young couple, Bill and Elaine Pogue, planned to operate their business along busy Route 66 for many years to come. The transient tourist business had been a mainstay of the local economy for years and Bill was the second generation of Pogues to own a motel in Moriarty. His mother had owned and operated the Yucca Motor Court about a mile west on Route 66.
The plans for the building were drawn on a brown paper bag and
Bill, Elaine andtheir two boys did the majority of the
construction. Bill was determined the building would be 'done right and last forever!' The story goes that after an accident, Bill got someone else to build a wall for him. When he checked the wall and found that it was 1/8 inch off, he knocked it down with his crutches and started over himself!
The original plan for the motel had been a 'modern' U-shaped building, but Bill passed away before the dream was realized. Elaine continued to run the motel on her own for several years and, in the mid-seventies, sold the business to her younger son, Mike, who owns the motel today. Elaine went on to become a two-term mayor of Moriarty, working to build and promote the town she loved.
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