The Grand Canyon Hotel is located on Historic Route 66 in Williams, Arizona. The building claims to be the oldest hotel in Arizona. It was constructed in 1891 when Williams was still an old west town, with dirt roads, prostitutes and opium dens. By 1901, when the Sante Fe Railroad began stopping in the town, Williams became known as the Gateway to the Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon Hotel was appropriately named, being one of the nearest hotels to the canyon, and ony two block from the railroad station, within easy service for travellers to the canyon. Over the years several notables stopped at the hotel, including General John Pershing and naturalist John Muir, who is reported to have stayed on several occasions. In 1970 U.S 40 bypassed the town of Williams, and with it began the decline that many similar small towns along Route 66 experienced. It sat vacant for 35 until it was purchased, restored and reopened in 2005. It now operates once again as a hotel in Historic Williams.