By Noah Austin | Photograph by Steven Meckler
If your idea of a relaxing vacation is sitting in your room and watching Law & Order reruns, you can do that at Greer Peaks Lodge. But you’ll be missing out on much of what makes this Eastern Arizona gem special, says Ryan Nelson, who’s been the lodge’s general manager for the past three years. When he arrived, the town was still reeling from the 2011 Wallow Fire, which burned to within a few hundred feet of the hotel. Subsequently, tourism in this part of the White Mountains took a hit.
“It seemed like Greer was just kind of dying,” Nelson says. “There were a lot of properties for sale. We really wanted to bring more energy.”
The hotel got its start as a ski lodge in the 1970s. Back then, a ski run and a lift sat adjacent to the property. A renovation in the early 1990s added a rustic vibe and enclosed the lodge’s porch, which overlooks the vibrant green meadows of the Greer area.
But not much had changed since then, and Nelson and his family, who live on the property, sought to breathe life into the old lodge by offering a variety of activities to guests. They added badminton and tetherball areas, a playground and a small Frisbee golf course for summer visitors, and in winter, guests can tackle the sledding hill via snow tubes, which are provided. But the biggest draw for many summer guests is that everyone gets two free hours of boating and fishing on nearby lakes. The lodge provides the canoes, kayaks and fishing poles.
All the new amenities have made Greer Peaks Lodge a popular pick for family reunions and company retreats, which sometimes take up all 14 of the lodge’s rooms. The smallest of those rooms includes a queen bed and sleeps two, while the largest suite — with a fireplace, two bedrooms and a loft — has space for eight. In the morning, all guests can enjoy a hot breakfast in the dining room, which used to be the ski lodge’s restaurant. For large groups, the hotel offers all-inclusive packages that include meals and activities.
In short, there’s no shortage of diversions at Greer Peaks Lodge. And that likely means you’ll postpone your Law & Order binge until you get home. “We try to make it so you’re not just sitting and doing nothing,” Nelson says. “We want you to have plenty of things to do.”
Greer Peaks Lodge is located at 1 Main Street in Greer. For more information, call 928-735-7617 or visit www.greerpeakslodge.com.