Pat Cambell owns Wildflower Village, 4275-4395 West Fourth St., a unique combination of motel, boutique and arts center. The village has run into some financial problems and is holding an auction fundraiser on Saturday, June 22. For more information, visit www.wildflowervillage.com.
What’s going on?
Well, we just need to raise the funds to pay the taxes. We had a little loan going on a small portion of the property that would have paid the taxes and given us a little cash flow for the next year, and the doctor that has the primary loan on it didn’t want us to do that. So, we have to scramble to come up with the money.
So you’re doing an auction?
We’re doing a huge auction. We have some fairly expensive art, like a huge totem pole and we have a [Sergio] Bustamante … he’s a very well collected artist, and we have a moon of his that’s pretty valuable. We have a lot of art by artists that sell in our galleries. We have some Inuit art, quite a bit of art glass, and we’re auctioning off stays in our bed and breakfast and stays in our motel rooms.
What’s your fundraising goal?
How close are you to achieving that?
Well, we won’t know until we have the auction closed, which will be Saturday night at 7, when we’re doing what we call an “unburn.” Businesses have been known to burn down in order to cover costs when they have a problem, so we’re going to unburn. It seems appropriate since it’s close to Burning Man.
Is there information about the auction items up on the website?
It isn’t all on the website yet. … What happens is people keep saying, “We want to help. We’ll donate something.” The most important thing is to get people to come out. … They can come [to bid] any time they want from 4 to 7 during the day in our pub, or they can come on Saturday. The unburn starts at 9 in the morning. We’ll have music and entertainement going from 4 into the evening. There will be Jill Marlene and dancers and Dave Cherry.
Tell me a little more about Wildflower Village.
It started out as four old motels on six and a quarter acres. We have two galleries. We have a pottery studio. We have an art house where we have classes. … We have a coffee shop where we do meet-ups. We rent Penske trucks. We rent bicycles. We have motel rooms, hostel rooms and bed and breakfast rooms. We’re evolving, and we always add new things. One of our hopes is that we’ll take out the six trailers … and make those into a multipurpose room that’s both an indoor and outdoor theater, and we’re going to use some geothermal and put in a soaking tub. We’re going to add a bocce ball court. We’ve evolved from what we were to what we are with not much extra financing. We’ve had trouble getting financing, so we’ve had a real struggle doing that, but we’re still here.
You were recently one of the principal locations of the Nada Dada art festival. How was that this year?
Oh, it was outstanding. The last few years we’ve always had the most artists. Last year, we had 40 of the 60 and this year we had 25 of the 50. We’ve done really well. We have a lot of fun. Reno, I think, benefits from an entertaiment venue where you can have people of all ages and still have alcohol and entertainment and fun and everyone’s respectful of each other. We do a lot of steampunk here and pirates. We’ve had three or four steampunk and pirate parties. … The function that’s coming up is our chance to really, one, get better known, and to take care of our financial problem. I think we’ll take care of it. We’ve had such an outpour of support from the community that I don’t think it’s going to be a problem. I think it’s going to happen.