Camelback Inn, a JW Marriott Resort & Spa is an historic resort and spa owned by JW Marriott Hotels and located on the southern slope of Mummy Mountain in Paradise Valley, Arizona. Established in 1936 by Jack Stewart and John C. Lincoln, the resort’s popularity among Hollywood celebrities and political leaders made it a significant contributor to the region’s growth.
In the 1930s, Jack Stewart, a sportswriter and publicist from Fargo, North Dakota, wanted to build a pueblo-style hotel which could reflect Southwestern and Native American culture rather than the more commonplace dude ranch-style resort. Stewart’s project was funded by John C. Lincoln, an industrialist and founder of Lincoln Electric, who provided $200,000 and the land which Lincoln owned between the slopes of Mummy and Camelback Mountains. The property was remote desert scrub land located 12 miles (19 km) outside Phoenix and had no water, electricity or telephone access. The resort was constructed of adobe bricks which were made on the site. The rooms were housed in small adobe casitas (Spanish for “small houses”), each named after local cacti and decorated with Native American art.
Camelback Inn opened on December 15, 1936 with the slogan “Where Time Stands Still”. There were accommodations for 77 guests. Despite the poor economy of the Great Depression, the resort became an immediate success by catering to a wealthy clientele.
Stewart operated Camelback Inn as a part-owner until 1968. The resort was acquired in 1968 by Bill Marriott of Marriott International who had first stayed at the resort with his parents as a 16-year-old in 1948. At the time of Marriott’s purchase, Camelback Inn was still a seasonal winter resort with 170 rooms and no air conditioning.
In March 2003, the hotel was officially rebranded by its parent corporation as Camelback Inn, a JW Marriott Resort & Spa. Camelback Inn underwent a $45 million expansion and renovation in 2008 which included the addition of a new ballroom and two restaurants.