In 1928, there was a shortage of lumber, so the Peach’s bought the right to tear down the old Southern Pacific Railroad hotel for the lumber. The railroad would not sell the land but did sell them the lumber that came from the hotel. They used this lumber to build Peach Auto Court on the outskirts of Yuma.
In 1938, The Coronado was built with the beams from the old Southern Pacific Railroad Hotel. The hotel had a cottage and 14 guest rooms. With the increase in business, the hotel expanded in 1940. Due to the shortage of rooms during the war, they received permission from the government in 1944 to expand The Coronado yet again.
After the war in 1946, there was an increase in tourism and a need for further additions, including the restaurant, which was leased out. The restaurant was built on the site where the first airplane to land in Arizona landed on October 25, 1911. There was also a new brand of hotel called the ‘Best Western’ starting up, and The Coronado Hotel became one of the hotels to join the Best Western group. With the need to modernize in 1963, a pool was added, a new lobby, and 14 guest rooms.
On October 8, 1990, the Yuma Landing Restaurant & Lounge was no longer leased out and became part of The Coronado. With its ideal location in the heart of historic downtown Yuma, it also became the place to house memorabilia dating back to the beginning of the hotel.
In 1994, another expansion of non-smoking rooms completed the block-to-block appearance of The Coronado. Then just a year later, an annex of 26 rooms along with a second swimming pool was added adjacent to the hotel. In 1996, the museum opened inside the cottage, which was the original hotel lobby. The Casa de Coronado Museum’s collection ranges from information and photographs of old Yuma to Best Western memorabilia, with the hotel being one of the chain’s charter members. An additional wing was also added to the property, providing the hotel with an additional 40 rooms.
The hotel is currently finishing a five-year renovation project and was recently ranked as a silver level Green Leader on Trip Advisor. Today the Historic Coronado Motor Hotel is proud to be an independently owned and operated hotel, under their own brand, that continues to strive to improve and modernize with the changing times, and always do its best to meet the needs of the guests. Owners John & Yvonne Peach make every effort to maintain the unique identity of this historic hotel.
Lights, Camera, Action!
Since the late 1920s, Yuma has been an ideal location for filming movies, TV shows, and commercials. The region boasts ideal filming locations with diverse landscapes ranging from the Colorado River to the Imperial Sand Dunes National Recreation Area, Algodones in bordering Mexico, Fort Yuma-Quechan and Cocopah Indian Reservations, and different sites like the Yuma Territorial Prison, the Quartermaster Depot, the ‘ghost train’ at Pivot Point, acres of farmlands, and the historic downtown district. With an international airport, numerous hotel rooms, restaurants, parks, trails, and golf courses, the city has all the amenities to accommodate film crews, whether they are working on set or taking a break, and the historic Yuma Theatre is a popular site to host film screenings.
On April 10, 2015, the movie ‘Cowboy Zombies’ showed at the Historic Yuma Theater. Produced by the Winters Film Group, this film is a classic western film for kids with a twist…zombies! Set in the Arizona Territory, circa 1873, it is the story of a group of disparate people who band together to survive in a world gone mad. With a cast of unique and engaging actors (including our friend Lee Whitestar), zombies, and the backdrop of Arizona’s Sonoran Desert, this film is very entertaining. Learn more and watch the trailer at www.CowboyZombiesFilm.com.
Over the years, the Historic Coronado Motor Hotel has been honored to accommodate a number of celebrities, including Tom Mix, who won an Oscar for his role as Father O’Malley in ‘Going my Way’; actor, USO and Oscar host Bing Crosby, Hattie McDaniel who won an Oscar for her supporting role as Mammy in ‘Gone with the Wind,’ Bounty Hunter’s Duane Lee “Dog” Chapman, Sr., and musician Collin Raye. Our on-site restaurant, the Yuma Landing, has a large display of historic photos of Yuma, including its rich film history.
In April 2014, as part of Yuma’s Centennial Celebration, the Historic Coronado Motor Hotel was proud to sponsor the showing of ‘The Getaway’ in the ‘Made in Yuma Movie Marathon.’ In January 2015, an Epic Star Wars Gathering was filmed in our nearby Imperial Sand Dunes, and we were happy to have some of the crew stay at the hotel and dine in the Yuma Landing Bar & Grill.