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Success Stories

Rural Development Loan Guarantee Helps Hotel Stay in Business

Nicole King
Woman standing in front of Sagebrush Inn sign

If you happen to look for hotels in Taos, New Mexico, you might come across the historic Sagebrush Inn. The hotel opened over 90 years ago and includes a variety of historic rooms with fireplaces as well as some more modern updated ones.

“This hotel brings a sense of community to Taos,” said Elena Dumond, the Sagebrush Inn general manager who began working at the hotel in 2018. “A lot of the community has been coming here since they were young kids and a lot of people have a lot of memories here whether it’s a wedding, a quinceañera or special occasion with their families.”

The charming hotel is one of the largest employers in Taos with over 80 employees. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the hotel employed 120 staff members, but after closing for three months in 2020, the number went down and the hotel’s debt went up.

“Nobody could recall a time when The Sagebrush was closed in the last 90 years, and so being closed for three months was really weird,” shared Dumond. “Then having to try to reopen after that was just really hard because everything had been sitting and had to be maintained.”

The hotel has the largest indoor venue in the area and can seat 500 people dinner style or 800 theatre style. They host live music at the bar every night and feature a restaurant onsite for those looking for a quieter dining experience.

“We host a lot of big parties in our conference center and do live music in the bar,” said Dumond. “It kind of gives locals something to do. It’s a place for them to feel at home, listen to some live music and mingle with some of our out-of-town guests. We have a lot of local following which is really important.”

In 2021, the hotel received help from a Rural Development Business and Industry Loan Guarantee. When asked what the hotel might have done without that help, Dumond provided a short and to the point answer.

“Maybe we would have closed,” said Dumond. “The refinancing helped consolidate any debt from those years during COVID and helped get us kind of back on track as far as being able to afford our mortgage and our other bills.”

Effects of closing the hotel for good would have been felt by more than tourists looking for a place to stay in Taos.

“It would be a pretty big impact if The Sagebrush closed,” said Dumond. “It would be about 80 people out of work, 80 families needing to find new work, but also the community events that we do wouldn’t be able to happen.”

Luckily for the community and tourists alike, the hotel did not close and is still a place for locals to hang out and guests to stay.

“Our staff and our guests are just really in love with The Sagebrush,” shared Dumond. “It is kind of home for a lot of people I think.”

To learn more about USDA Rural Development loans and grants, visit the programs page.

Obligation Amount:
Year(s) of Obligation:
Congressional District:
  • New Mexico: District 3