Arcadia may get a couple nice new hotels and a 50-unit condo tower to replace Santa Anita Inn if plans by the owners are approved.
The $120 million project would add 110 rooms (a total of 210) where there are now 100 rooms at the Santa Anita Inn on Huntington Drive, and provide long-term visitors and jockeys and workers at the Santa Anita Park race track across the street with a facility offering more modern amenities. Many of those long-stay track customers have been going to other hotels in Arcadia or even outside the city.
The owners of Santa Anita Inn are forming a new company that would become an operator/franchisee of Marriott Hotels. The plan, as presented earlier this month in a study session prior to the City Council meeting, calls for a six-story Residence Inn and a four-story Fairfield Inn & Suites (both Marriott brands) to be built on the western-most end of the property where the two most secluded two-level wings of Santa Anita Inn now sit.
If all goes well with Phase One, the 50 condo units being considered for Phase Two would be an eight-story tower with a cost of about $40 million, which would begin with the demolition of the most visible and prominent structures of the current Santa Anita Inn. The condos would be sold to private investors and work with hotel management to lease/rent them to visitors.
That six-acre property was once the home of the popular Pony Express Museum before being dismantled in 1955 to make room for the first hotel there, the Flamingo Hotel, which opened in 1956 with an A-frame lobby, an outdoor pool, cocktail lounge, cafe’, children’s playground, and even live flamingos kept near the driveway, according to The Arcadia Historical Society’s book called Images of America: Arcadia.
— By Scott Hettrick