Chandler's hotel San Marcos: The resort impact on a rural town

Katherine Crewe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper looks at the role of the elite and ambitiously designed San Marcos Hotel in the small farming town of Chandler, 25 miles south east of Phoenix, Arizona. The study traces the hotel's impact on the town's 2000 or less white farmers, and the sizeable population of Mexican migrant workers, questioning how a real city can thrive amidst a landscape dedicated to recreation and luxury. What is the impact of high-style design in a pioneering town, how can local people find their identity in a resort milieu, and what might be the tourist impact on the high immigrant populations common to many resort areas at the time? Using reports from the local Chandler Arizonan since 1912, oral histories and miscellaneous archival materials, the paper traces an evolving identity during the town's early decades. The paper responds to a call for locally based histories of rural towns, shedding light on a key period in North American town making, while contributing to a growing research about resort environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-104
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Urban Design
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Urban Studies


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