Hello, and thank you for wanting to meet the historic Cottonwood Hotel Inn-Keeper. I'd like to introduce myself. I am Karen J. Leff, the proprietor and preservationist enthusiast of this historic endeavor, who has privately owned and managed the Cottonwood Hotel since 1996.
Karen J. Leff (Owner/Manager)
My passion for this historic hotel, aims to please and exceed the expectations of our guests and all involved, as all contribute to the success and continuation of this heritage project. The non-traditional classic small hotel offers the comforts of 'private' hotel apartment style suites with home like features and amenities and strives for excellence in welcoming guests into a safe and healthy environment. Surrounded with good taste, charm and a romantic atmosphere, the hotel offers a unique blend of an old western building with updated features and amenities. Embracing the diversity of people, ideas and culture, innovation is encouraged, accountability sought, and change is welcomed. In delivering high standards of integrity and fairness and committing to value, with profit ensured, quality and goals will be met.
VISION: Striving towards becoming a first class historic boutique hotel and delivering a memorable 1-of-a-kind guest experience. The historic Cottonwood Hotel's success and growth will be achieved by its guests, continued supporters and all contributors.
The 1922 circa hotel has come a long way since 1996 and is still growing. I find this a great time to personally thank each and everyone one of you. As I continue to strive to reach my goals, I'd like to ask a continued favor of you. If you truly enjoyed your stay here with us that you write us a 100% positive review. If for some reason there is a problem, I ask that you notify us immediately so that I can personally remedy the situation. I ask that you not leave a negative review because you did not make us aware of a problem. The historic hotel's continued success relies on 100% positive feedback from its guests. We hope that your appreciation and expectations were no more than what we fully and honestly describe. With a continuance of updating through our progress, we strive to keep our information and photos as accurate and current as possible.
Growing up in Bay City, MI today Karen is a multi-faceted, entrepreneurial business woman.
As a young single pioneering woman, in the early 1970's Leff bought her 1st home at the age of 19, while putting herself through college and holding down two jobs.
Paving the way for diversity, in 1973 she was the 1st woman hired nation-wide as an UPS preloader, 3rd woman nation-wide as UPS delivery driver, while working her way up in the company, she was the 1st person with UPS to help develop the seasonal helper position and worked close with management teams in areas of improving productivity, customer service, loss prevention, shipping & receiving.
For the last two decades, Leff has had an interest in supporting historic small towns in Arizona. From a small business in Tombstone, back to Sedona, and in and out of Cottonwood, she opened a mercantile clothier and coffee shop in 1993, She still managed to work on the ground floor of the Main Street program in Cottonwood, sitting on the chamber & Old Town Assc. boards, along with event coordinating, fundraising, grant writing, program developing, brochure designing, and freelance travel/entertainment writer.
In 1996 she bought, renovated and still manages the Cottonwood Hotel (a small historic hotel), that offers Specialty Lodging Accommodations. She is also a local historian.
Leff has also been doing ecommerce since 1998, having online internet stores and dealing with online auctions.
Other interests are alternative health & healing. After being paralized on the left side for 3 years, living in a cervical collar, and not being able to lay down in a bed or even able to sit in a chair comfortably, in the early 1980's Leff learned to live within her dehabilitating restrictions, prescription-free, living with health conscious choices & life-style. See more here...
Leff has been a guest on radio talk-shows, local television and featured in AZ newspapers for several of her accomplishments.
She was a volunteer for CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) the voice for abused children, in 1992-1993.
These are only a few of Karen's accomplishments.
Most recent projects:
#3 Studio Suite was our last studio on the upper floor to finally get its original hardwood floors refinished. Plus we added some built-ins and a few other things. It was completed in the fall of 2008.
Our small room & bath #5 is still in the workings.
My front office is half done. A similar technique that they did in the 1920's, staining designs over concrete. So for those of you who come, please excuse the mess in my office. I had to pull away from this project and give it a little rest.
MEET MY FAMILY...
Gregory J. Nelson
When I speak of 'us, our, we', I have not been alone in my endeavors. Gregory J. Nelson, my companion since 1997, has helped me tremendously in finishing a lot of my projects. It's always great to have a 'Jack-of-all-trades' or a good handyman around, even though I am quite the 'Jill-of all-trades' myself. Gregory has more time than I, since I also do all the book-keeping, managing, etc., plus all my own cleaning of the units. Gregory doesn't always have the enthusiasm as I though, as he still calls them my projects. Notice how I mentioned he finishes a lot of my projects... Sometimes its the only way I can motivate him into my endeavors. But, most of the time I just let him help me when he feels up to it.
Greg had a couple of major heart attacks 7 ½ years ago. Two years ago, he had another. His heart is 91% dead, as it only pumps on 9%. If he'd quit the smoking he'd be a candidate for a heart transplant, but has no interest in either. (quitting smoking or the heart transplant). The doctors told him there is nothing else they can do at this point. He is considered end stage heart disease. He sleeps alot, but still gets around good. He is still helping me whenever he feels up to it.
Greg has a lot of his own interest too that keep him pretty occupied. Once a machinist and a physics expert in the technological field, Gregory today is into the quantum physics of alternative healing. He has an extended knowledge and spends a lot of hours with his QXCI SCIO Biofeedback technology, homeopathy and self-hypnosis.
Even though his heart is 91% dead, he has no other symptoms that others have with end stage heart disease. His lungs are clear, he has no leg swelling, etc. He's an enigma to his doctors. We believe that it's because of the sessions he gives himself with the QXCI SCIO.
***If you come and stay with us you'll see Greg out in the parking lot from time to time smoking a cigarette, since we are a SMOKE-FREE building.
If all of the above isn't enough, a better part of our day is walking our three (Do-Kyhi) Tibetan Mastiffs, three times a day. Gregory & I are known as the couple around town with the 3 black dogs. Rain or shine we walk a couple of miles every day.
Frequently asked question: Since You Have Dogs, is the Hotel PET FRIENDLY?
Answer is: Just the ground floor(street side) is pet-friendly. Please check out our Pet Friendly Units.
Our upper floor units (the original hotel) is NOT pet-friendly for various reasons. We get people that come here due to allergies. Since that is another field of interest of ours we try our best to keep the units allergen-free.
Old Town, Cottonwood, AZ USA, 930 North Main Street (Historic 89A) Hub of the Verde Valley, also servicing Clarkdale, Sedona, Cornville, Page Springs, Jerome