Almost 19 years ago, Pat Campbell bought four blighted motels (Westerner, Silver Spur, The Ace and the Dutch Wife) to convert to single room occupancy for Reno’s downtown workers. John Wayne and Sammy Davis Jr. once stayed at the Westerner back in the day. But the motels’ glory days were long past, when Campbell bought them.
From her previous work with Grubb & Ellis and Wells Fargo Trust, Campbell was savvy to the peaks and valleys of real estate. As a single mom with four kids, she was well aware that life happens. The SBA threw a major curve at Campbell when it changed its lending policy shortly after she purchased the property. Since the string of motels could not be classified as just one type of property, it was deemed “non-conforming” and she could not finance the improvements needed for the property.
“It’s been a struggle, but I’m still here,” Campbell remarked. Financing the improvements has involved a combination of crowd funding and sheer tenacity. Their Internet presence has been successful in drawing out-of-town visitors.
Still “non-conforming”, the Wildflower Village today is a combination art gallery, coffee house, pub, chapel, hostel, bed & breakfast and also houses Bella’s Trunk, a vintage boutique. Its 4,000 square feet of gallery space features work of 100 artists ranging from glasswork to mosaics including work from the Indie Reno artists.
Wildflower Village’s public spaces have hosted ballet classes, book clubs, weddings and numerous Meet Up gatherings. During last year’s Celtic celebration the Ceilidh was held at the Wildflower Village involving 19 Scottish dancers from San Francisco and two flights worth of Irish and Scottish whiskeys. “A lot of fun,” Pat said of the event. She intends to add more outdoor events this year.
Whether it is to meet a friend for drinks, peruse the work of local artists or simply need a spot for out of-town guests, Wildflower Village is well worth a wander.
Wildflower Village (www.wildflowervillage.com)
4275-4395 W4th Street Reno, NV (4th and McCarran)