Your hosts are Jaime Ballesteros and Wendy White. Jaime is a contractor. Wendy is a lawyer. The Lodge is also our home.
We both have full time businesses that operate out of offices in the Lodge. Those other businesses take up the majority of our time. We are not generally available for socializing with guests and you will be left to your own devices most of your stay.
The Abineau Lodge was established in 1997 as an Outdoor Adventure Center named the Sled Dog Inn. The name of the company was Ponderosa Outdoor Adventures. We offered guided adventures including rock climbing hiking, mountain biking, cross country skiing, snow shoeing and yes, even dog sledding. Climatic changes and weather patterns soon made dog sledding too inconsistent in the Flagstaff area and we decided to change the business from outdoor adventures to simply a bed and breakfast which operated from 2001 through 2005 under our ownership.
The business was sold to another couple who owned it briefly from 2006 through 2008 still under the name the Sled Dog Inn when it was mutually decided that we would retake possession of the property and business.
After taking back possession of the Inn in December of 2008 we decided to change the name to reflect our changed business plan and remove the association with dog sledding. After brain storming a new name for several weeks we settled on Abineau Lodge for our new name.
The name Abineau is associated with several features around Flagstaff including a hiking trail in the San Francisco Peaks wilderness area. It is one of our favorite hiking trails and the name represents our continued love of the outdoors, connection with Flagstaff and the mountain environment. The name is actually the last name of one of Flagstaff's early settlers.
The lodge itself was built by us. Jaime is a general contractor and we personally built the building from the ground up. The Lodge was built specifically as a small hotel, not as a residence. The property that we are located on is commercially zoned property and the lodge was built to strict commercial codes for small lodging facilities. Coconino County zoning and health codes required us to invest in a full commercial restaurant kitchen which is subject to annual health department inspection and licensing.
Although the property is built to commercial code it does not look like a commercial building and includes many custom touches that are not found in any other commercial space. In particular, the dining room and bar area are lined with historic reclaimed lumber from several buildings around the country. The most famous is the original Sears Catalog building in Chicago that was torn down in the 1990s. We purchased lumber from that building that was then replaned as tongue and groove planks that form the floor in the dining room and ceiling in the bar as well as the staircase to the second floor. Other reclaimed lumber from a railroad trestle in Utah, a cotton gin in Alabama and even from the pioneer cabin still located on our property was remilled for use in the construction of the building.
In 2014 we decided that operating a 10 bedroom hotel was no longer economically feasible. We decided to again modify our business plan and focus on providing a lovely venue for weddings and other small events. Our fully licensed restaurant kitchen and our liquor license, proximity to the forest, large parking area, and rural location are perfect for less formal, rustic and country style weddings as well as for small business retreats, parties and other events.