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Our Story

The Best Western PLUS Arroyo Roble Hotel & Creekside Villas is “Family Owned and Family Run”! Here’s our story:


Robert and Patricia Evans have always been entrepreneurs.  In 1959 they opened a small floor covering business in Phoenix, and subsequently built a 20 unit apartment complex where their young family resided.  Their sons, Steve and Phil learned their work ethic by helping with various chores in the family businesses.

Business prospered and in 1971, Robert and Patricia purchased 10 acres on the banks of Oak Creek, in uptown Sedona.  Nearly every weekend the family camped in a small 2-bedroom trailer, playing in the creek and exploring Oak Creek Canyon. They raised a few pet cows and goats that co-existed with the resident deer that roamed the property.


In the early 1960’s, a Chicago dentist began construction on a hotel project adjacent to the 10-acre property.  He built a five-story structure of solid grout block and concrete, but did so without land for parking or a septic system, and therefore, could not complete his project. The project stood, clad in weathered plywood for 16 years, as many residents in Sedona referred to the building shell as an “eye-sore”.  They petitioned the county to condemn and demolish the structure.  However, because the building was structurally sound, the county was unable to do so.  This created a seemingly irresolvable stalemate.

In 1981, Robert and Patricia Evans and their sons purchased the aging building and several adjoining properties that provided the land necessary to complete the hotel.  They were confident they could transform the property into a beautiful lodging that would be a great “fit” with the timeshare they planned for the ten acres they owned on the creek.

The Evans family enlisted the services of noted Phoenix architect, Richard Britt, to redesign the hotel.  After eighteen months of design and construction, the Arroyo Roble Hotel opened to its first guest in 1982.


In the four years that followed, the family developed, marketed and sold more than 3,000 Arroyo Roble Resort timeshare intervals on the original ten-acre parcel.  The Evans kept seven Creekside Villas for nightly bookings through the hotel.  The resort project includes a 15,000 square foot clubhouse that hotel guests are able to enjoy.  This affords guests the luxury of indoor/outdoor pools, whirlpools, steam room, sauna, game room, and more.

In 1996 the family purchased a two-story building north of the main hotel and Phil converted it to five deluxe guestrooms known as Arroyo Roble North Signature Rooms.

In 2004, Phil Evans developed the Arroyo Roble Village Shops located next to the hotel.  The first floor was built specifically for the hotel’s breakfast shop, “Cups” to give guests a first-class breakfast experience while enjoying the red rock views from the patio.  Additionally, there is a meeting room for 65.

The Arroyo Roble Village Shops was recognized “Best New Building in a Main Street District” by Governor Janet Napolitano in 2005.


Ultimately, the family constantly strives to make this BEST WESTERN PLUS Arroyo Roble “one of a kind.”

In addition to overseeing general operations, Phil Evans put his love of craftsmanship to use.  His handiwork can be seen throughout the property.  He personally built the granite vanities in each hotel room, taught the maintenance staff to faux paint doors and railings, as he worked along side them.  He designed and built the large fountain behind the hotel, hand-crafted slate framed mirrors in each guestroom, designed custom furniture in the hotel and villas, built a intricate balcony above the hotel entrance, designed custom wrought iron balcony railings on the hotel, and much more!

The Next Generation Included

The Evans always enjoyed working together as a family.  Phil serves as managing partner of the hotel for the family, and his wife, Bernadette assists whenever needed.  Now the 3rd generation continues the tradition.  In 2011, their daughter Christy joined the team, focusing on marketing and business development as she prepares to, one day, take over for her dad.


The company philosophy is “EVERYTHING starts from the top down”. In addition to property improvement, Phil always reminds the staff, “The way a guest is treated BY THE ENTIRE STAFF makes the most meaningful impact on the quality of their stay.”  The family recognizes each employee as valuable team members that are essential to the hotel’s continued success.

REALLY Family Owned and Family Operated!

The focus on focus on family and employees is evident….

Leon Lunsway was the G.M. for 18 years.  Upon Leon’s retirement in 2001, his son-in-law Lonnie Lillie was hired as the G.M.    Comptroller Lori Lillie, is both Leon’s daughter, and Lonnie’s wife, (confused yet)? Lori has been with the hotel for over twenty-five years!  Two housekeeping supervisors have been at the property since 1989 and many of our staff have been working at the property for over 7 years.


Our entire family is grateful the hard work and sacrifice our parents (and grandparents) made to provide the groundwork for our current operation.  We are proud of our accomplishments, and especially of our staff, that work along side us to provide each guest with great, friendly service each day.

Thank You

A VERY SPECIAL “thank you” to all of our loyal guests who have patronized our hotel over the past thirty three years.  We are grateful for your support and kind words.

On behalf of the Evans’ and the entire family of the BEST WESTERN PLUS – Arroyo Roble Hotel and Creekside Villa’s, we invite you to come and enjoy our friendly hospitality in one of the most special locations on earth!