Aztec apartments cater to single women 60 or older – The Journal

“It’s about the demographics of the under-represented,” says Step Back Inn owner

Tweeti Blancett sits on the porch enjoying iced tea. Blancett owns the Step Back Inn, which is in the process of being transformed into an apartment building specifically for single women 60 and over. (Morgan Mitchell / Durango Herald)

FARMINGTON – Nestled along Aztec Boulevard is the Step Back Inn, a former hostel turned apartment building that caters to a very specific population – single women 60 and over.

People came from all over, owner Tweeti Blancett said, to see the Aztec ruins, and for a quaint inn, people often booked their stay at the Step Back Inn.

“I built it from scratch and loved it,” Blancett said. “You meet the most wonderful people from all over the world.”

Blancett, who was born in Hawaii before moving to New Mexico as a toddler, loved the hospitality industry, but as an active member of her community, Blancett noticed the need for some type of housing for women. of a certain age.

“It’s the demographics of people who are underrepresented, in my opinion,” Blancett said. “There is availability for seniors, but it is not always the most secure environment.

The hotel has an emergency entrance and exit; otherwise, there is no way inside. Cameras are also installed throughout the property and residents are given building keys as well as separate keys for their own unit. The building is currently undergoing some renovations.

“It’s a small, gated community that can interact with each other because their interests are pretty much the same and their lifestyles are pretty much the same,” Blancett said. “I hope to build a community of women who can rely on each other and love to do things with each other and just have fun.”

Pieces of history are framed in the living room of the Step Back Inn. The hostel is transformed into an apartment building specially designed for single women aged 60 and over. (Morgan Mitchell / Durango Herald)

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Blancett said she doesn’t hate men, as evidenced by her 56-year marriage, but the rooms are outfitted for just one person, and Blancett said she thinks residents would feel safer if they were all women as if mixed men and women.

Blancett said she simply saw a need for female-only housing. Two long-term care centers also noted a need for more housing options before people transition to assisted living, she said.

The one-unit living room at Step Back Inn. Each unit is equipped with a TV, cable, internet and all utilities included. (Morgan Mitchell / Durango Herald)

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“I have been married for 56 years and am still married,” Blancett said. “I just saw a need in the community, and I felt like if I was going to reuse this hotel… and I thought if I had to reuse it because of COVID, I would do something unique and having a goal . “

The bedroom portion of the unit has a queen-size bed in the furnished units. The Step Back Inn is transformed into an apartment building specially designed for single women aged 60 and over. (Morgan Mitchell / Durango Herald)

The bedrooms are joined together so that an original hotel room is the living room and a small kitchen with a countertop air fryer oven and a medium sized refrigerator, and the other room contains the bedroom and the bathroom. bath.

The kitchen in a unit of the Step Back Inn apartments. The hostel is transformed into an apartment building specially designed for single women 60 years old. (Morgan Mitchell / Durango Herald)

There are 17 units available in the building. There are also suites for rent where visiting family members can stay.

Family suites are available for residents to rent when visiting Step Back Inn residents. The hostel is transformed into an apartment building specially designed for single women aged 60 and over. (Morgan Mitchell / Durango Herald)

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“There were perfectly independent women up to the age of 80 who are independent and didn’t want to be in a care facility,” Blancett said. “They want to live their own life, have their own place, they want to be independent. So I try to meet this need.

The porch at the Step Back Inn is more like a garden with hundreds of flowers and plants. (Morgan Mitchell / Durango Herald)

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Along with the security features and all-inclusive paid utilities, Blancett said the apartments will host monthly birthday dinners to celebrate residents born each month. Although the units do not have full-size kitchens, the building does have a full kitchen with a stove and an oven attached to the living / dining room where residents are welcome to prepare family meals.

The lounge at the Step Back Hostel will be used for monthly activities as well as a place for residents to reunite with their visiting families. (Morgan Mitchell / Durango Herald)

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Each door has a plaque with a name of historical significance. The names are from the first 40 names registered with the city clerk in Aztec, she said. She added the plaques when the building was a hotel, but plans to keep them now that they are apartments.

The doors all have a plaque on them and represent one of the 40 original names written in the Aztec City Clerk’s Book. (Morgan Mitchell / Durango Herald)

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