Celebrity at the Valley Ho

When the Hotel Valley Ho opened it 1956, it quickly became a playground for Hollywood refugees. James Cagney, Rudy Vallee, Bette Davis, Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, and Marilyn Monroe all relaxed under its roof. Like many local resorts, the Valley Ho can boast the debonair Clark Gable once roamed its halls. Tony Curtis and wife Janet Leigh made it their temporary home while they were filming on location. Jimmy Durante got a kick out of singing and playing at the lounge’s grand piano.

Natalie Wood and Robert Wagner chose Scottsdale for their 1957 nuptials to avoid the drama of a Hollywood wedding. Their ceremony was at the nearby Scottsdale Methodist Church, where City Marshal Henry Cooper and his deputies patrolled the church to deter any wedding crashers hoping to sneak a peek. Stars loved to sneak away from the bustle of Hollywood and soak in the Scottsdale sun.

The Valley Ho also attracted another type of celebrity: the athlete. Resorts like the Valley Ho catered to athletes and fans alike, especially during the bustling spring training season. Ted Williams, Bob Feller, and Leo Durocher all called the hotel home, along with teammates from the Boston Red Sox, Cleveland Indians, New York Giants and Chicago Cubs.

Owners and operators Robert and Evelyn Foehl were used to catering to the rich and famous. The hoteliers previously operated a hotel in Southern California, and many of their loyal clientele followed them into the desert. Guests paid $7.50 a night for their room, but the real luxury was at the diving pool, which sometimes featured fashion shows and banquets. The hotel also offered luxuries such as rollaway sofa beds, rabbit-ear television sets, central air conditioning, and kitchenettes. It was the ideal midcentury getaway for the jet-setting crowd.

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Audio

Icing on the Cake
The Hotel Valley Ho was a favorite spot for Hollywood icons, and was the site of Natalie Wood and Robert Wagner's wedding reception in 1957. Written and narrated by Amy Long. Recorded at Scottsdale Channel 11; courtesy of the Papago Salado...
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