About the Rocket Inn
Don't let the name Rocket Inn fool you; we are not kitschy or plastic. Our name is a nod to the sci-fi of mid-century when this motel was built, as well as to the modern science of rockets launching from the nearby Spaceport America and White Sands Missile Range. When we first started this restoration, we had the infinite potential of a blank canvas. We scraped the old building down to the bones to reinvent the vintage motor lodge (see How Rocket Inn Started below).
We respect the history of the classic motor lodge in our culture. Our goal was to stay true to this simple style of lodging, which offers the traveler convenience and comfort, yet blend modernization with a peaceful aesthetic. We feel that architecture, décor and environment can be brought together in a harmony and continuity to create calm.
In keeping with "less is more," our rooms are simple: big comfortable beds, large step-in showers, basic pantry space, table and chairs. Yet all rooms are modernized with flat screen HDTV, microwave and fridge tucked away, plus plenty of power outlets and WIFI to satisfy the 21st century needs. We have made pleasing, simple surroundings our choice of design when creating the unique environment that is Rocket Inn. We keep the traveler at the center of our process as we bring our vision to life.
You are invited to share our “home” and enjoy our town. We can point out where to dine and imbibe. In our front office, you can get discount passes to 3 of the 10 unique hot springs bath-houses. There are lots of little shops and art galleries, restaurants and bars within walking distance. We live in the land of enchantment and love to explore the unique treasures of our county such as lakes, ghost towns, forests and deserts. We have visited most of the local attractions and destinations and can share maps and knowledge with the intrepid traveler looking to explore. (Val loves to tell people where to go :)
We’ve been waiting
How Rocket Inn Started
It was September in 2011.The old motel had been sitting vacant for two years, its exterior charred from a fire that destroyed the wrap-around porch roof. Once a thriving 10-room motor lodge, the former Red Haven Motel was run down, lacking proper upgrading for over twenty years. The good news is, it was well-built, with “good bones,” so we decided to take the challenge.
First was all new electric. T or C's finest, Luchini Electric, installed all new wiring throughout, all the way to the transformer. The motel stepped into the 21st Century.
Although the original tile designs in the bathrooms were an eclectic combination of southwest and '60s mod colors, they needed to be replaced. We went with a Corian-like cultured marble, custom-made from A. Padilla in Albuquerque. In each of the king rooms, we added a travertine accent tile, lending a touch of elegance. We replaced the vanities with pedestal sinks and installed low flush toilets.
The doors were original solid wood with a small window, and they were, well, blood red. Perhaps to match the former name (Red Haven), the color of the doors accentuated their tired and rickety appearance. We carefully sanded and repaired each door, burnished the hinges, and paneled over the small window. Just in time, we were lucky to have our sister Julie visiting. A genius at painting techniques, she used 7 different colors to create a beautiful old New Mexico weathered blue. Guests frequently ask to have their picture taken in front of their door.
We removed the casement windows and put in new thermal ones. The room interiors got all new plaster and wood flooring. The large walk-in closets were perfect for being split in half; so we add a “pantry” space for the microwave and counter-height fridge in each.
Outdoors, we refinished the blotchy and broken (red) walkway, and pushed the parking back to create gardens with trees and agaves. Corners became patio areas with palm trees and seating. There's even a picnic table.
Experience a piece of motel history, from 1948 to 2011 to now.
"Very nice stay ”
5 of 5 stars
Reviewed February 20, 2015
We stayed in room 5 for several nights. The owners and staff are great and sincerely care about hospitality. The rocket inn is a small old motor court type of motel, but the owners made it very comfortable; the rooms are very clean, nicely decorated with details and quiet. The little sitting area off the parking lot was surprisingly pleasant and we enjoyed it. The town of TorC doesn't seem to try to be the best that they can be, but the Rocket Inn is an exception as they obviously care about doing everything as best they can. I much rather stay here than some of the the "historic spring " motels.
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