La Posada Hotel & Harvey House, Winslow Arizona - NO CC

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Uploaded: 5th Apr 2014 at 7:29 PM
Another real-world building that some of you may have slept in, eaten at, or driven by on your way through the windswept high desert of Arizona, the La Posada Hotel is one of the most elegant and expansive of the Harvey Houses that once sat beside the railroad, serving rail passengers on holiday in the American southwest of the early twentieth century. For those of you who enjoy buildings like this enough to want to visit them for a bed or a meal the next time you're cruising on Route 66 and pass through Winslow Arizona, the hotel's website is:

As with my other Harvey House, the El Tovar Hotel in Grand Canyon NP, the history, design, and story of this building is longer than I imagine many of you would be interested in hearing, so I won't FORCE you to read it! Still, Harvey Houses like the La Posada always have interesting lives, so I would encourage you to read this!

There are a number of changes from the actual hotel that I had to make in order to make it fit on a Sim lot. Most obvious is the fact that the hotel itself is reduced in scale considerably. The east and west wings of the real building have central corridors with rooms on both sides, while I had to adapt them down into single rows of guest rooms, and unlike the actual hotel, the lot I've uploaded has no rooms above the ballroom- I decided that getting the ballroom to be more accurate was more important than adding yet another block of rooms to a hotel that already accommodates more Sims than any of the hotels that shipped with the game.
Also different is the lot itself- to get enough space in-game to include all the gardens and grounds, I would have to make THREE 5x6 lots (and I still might, depending on how much people like this one). As it is now though, there are no western gardens or lawns, and on the east side, the depot and the veranda covering the approach to it are much smaller and much closer to the hotel than they actually stand, as well as the employee area and solar power farm both being much reduced in size.
As to things that some of you may want to change:
-Somewhat obviously, there will not be any trains passing by on the "railroad tracks" that lay along the south (rear) side of the lot, unless someone feels so inspired as to make a mod allowing that. Still, it just looked wrong not to have train tracks, since this hotel was designed to cater to the railway! If you'd rather have the rear of the lot just open onto the desert though, the tracks are just low fencing over terrain paint, so they're easy enough to remove.
-The employee wing on the west (left) side of the lot is designed so that (hopefully) your Sims won't have reason to visit it, but with such a large lot, if you're noticing a significant lag, this is an area that can be completely emptied out without affecting the public areas of the hotel.
-I kind of gave up on trying to make Sims walk up to the entryway properly- it would require getting rid off all 3 gates to the potager garden. If you want your Sims to enter through the foyer like normal people, just block those three iron gates, making it so that the only access to the potager garden/terrace is through the gift shop.
-Check-in is in the gift shop, as it is in the real hotel, however this is not a particularly prominent location. If you think that the hotel needs a more ornate check-in desk, there are several spaces in the lobby where one could easily be placed.
-The parking areas alongside the road should obviously extend all the way to the road, but the game doesn't seem to like carrying over things past the edge of the sidewalk. I'd suggest using moveobjects to just place asphalt tiles connecting them to the road.

As far as placement goes, Winslow is in a dry, high-desert environment, so I tried to make this lot work in a desert neighborhood. However, it would be equally at home in a dirt or lush neighborhood (probably not concrete though! ) Likewise, for realistic placement, this hotel is best placed in a mountain vacation hood, although a tropical hood would also fit with the design fairly well. In either case, I would suggest placing it on the edge of the neighborhood, so that train tracks can be placed behind it, making it so trains will at least pass by the hotel from neighborhood view!
As with many buildings designed by Mary Colter, the rooms in this hotel don't provide everything a Sim could want, thus encouraging them to leave their rooms and mingle with other guests in the public spaces of the hotel, or else to take advantage of the tours offered in the surrounding area.
Also, like many older hotels, many of the rooms are small by modern standards, so while the rooms are not outlandishly expensive by themselves, for more than two Sims, you will need more than just a single room, so vacation expenses can rise quickly.

Now to the technical aspects-
This is a huge lot, with more than $800,000 worth of build and buy mode items within its 5x6 footprint. This means that it'll almost certainly lag if you try to run it on a slower machine, but like all my other big lots, this lot was put together on an old, slow computer, and it worked, so it is playable, just slower. I've playtested this lot quite a bit as I was trying to fine-tune it, so I don't think you should run into any gameplay issues with it, but if you do, please let me know, and I'll do my best to address them!

Whether they arrive by train in the 1930s, or by taxi in the 2010s (yes, I know you can't do both in the game! ) I hope you and your Sims enjoy this hotel!

Lot Size: 5x6
Lot Price: $516 - $1511

Additional Credits:
Another real building, so I can only claim credit for adapting it to the Sims, not for designing anything. The building was designed by Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter.
Thanks to the staff of the La Posada Hotel for their assistance with my reference photos during my visit.
Thanks to Arnold Berke for the detailed history of the La Posada I found in his book "Mary Colter- Architect of the Southwest," which helped immeasurably in my telling of the building's story.
Thanks to Virginia L. Grattan, for the information I found in her biography "Mary Colter- Builder Upon the Red Earth"
Thanks also to members of the MTS community who wrote tutorials on dummy levels- the roofline would be much more boring without them!