Former Hilltop House Hotel Up For Sale

The former Hilltop House Hotel at 400 Trinity Dr. went on the market the first week of May. It is owned by Atomic City Investments. Photo by Carol A. Clark/
Los Alamos Daily Post

After four years of ownership, Atomic City Investments decided to abandon its goal of re-opening the former Hilltop House Hotel and has put the property up for sale at 400 Trinity Dr.

Atomic City Investments Operations Director Kuzi Mutsiwegota told the Los Alamos Daily Post that the property was placed on the market in the first week of May. The property is listed with  Zia Realty Group.

Atomic City Investments purchased the property in 2015. According to the Zia Realty Group website, the asking price is $2 million. Included in the purchase is the hotel, restaurant and convenience store with gas station. It also states on the website that a liquor license is included in the price.

We are excited to have the Hilltop House back up for sale, Zia Realty Group owner James Chrobocinski said. “It was unfortunate that circumstances did not allow the current owners to redevelop the property. But we are hopeful that we will find new owners to bring the entrance to our town back to life. We are already in discussions with several interested parties.

Mutsiwegota said there has been interest in the property and some potential buyers have come out to look at the hotel but they need to perform feasibility studies. The work and cost to bring the building up to code was one of the major contributors for putting up the forsale sign, he said.

Mutsiwegota added that Los Alamos County’s requirements to get the existing building up to code are as strict as if they were building a new building. The Hilltop House, he explained, is actually several buildings lumped together and it would be expensive to bring all of the structures into compliance with County code.

“Our original plan just doesn’t seem like it would work out,” Mutsiwegota said.

He added that with the growth going on in town as well as the state constructing the roundabout in front of the hotel, Atomic City Investments hopes the next owner will bring “something that will be valuable to the community in that key … part of town”.

Although Atomic City Investments, which is comprised of members of the Sipapu Group, is selling the hotel, Mutsiwegota said there are no plans to abandon its partnership with the Pajarito Mountain Ski Area.

Los Alamos County Economic Development Administrator Joan Ahlers spoke about the sale of the property Tuesday with the Los Alamos Daily Post.

“The County is very happy to see the property is for sale and we hope it is sold soon and that a re-development proposal is brought to the County for permitting,” Ahlers said.

The hotel has had a tough time. It was reported previously in the Los Alamos Daily Post that the hotel’s troubles first surfaced in August 2012 when investors discovered that their managing partner had put the hotel up for sale. The hotel then failed to make its $26,000 monthly mortgage payments, spurring LANB to file foreclosure proceedings against the hotel in October 2012.

After Atomic City Investments purchased the building it appeared little to nothing was done to the building. Mutsiwegota said that isn’t true: “a lot of work was done behind the scenes such as re-creating building plans and completing code analysis.”

Editor’s note: Carol A. Clark contributed to this story.