Known today as the Best Value Lodge, the single-story, 18-unit Longhorn Motel opened at 844 S. Virginia Street on May 15, 1954. The project was a joint venture of Joe Ginocchio and his sister, Katherine Ghiglieri, whose family had owned the land for more than forty years. Reno architect Russell Clopine designed the motel, which was furnished with “the most modern furniture available.”
The motel’s opening was such a notable event that the local newspaper reported on its first patrons the following week. In that story, Ginocchio told a reporter that the business had been a great success so far, with all rooms occupied and a surprising one-third of his patrons from Canada, with several others from Florida.
The 1950s was a transitional decade for South Virginia Street, as it transformed from a residential street into a commercial and tourist corridor. The Western Building just to the motel’s north had replaced a single-family home in 1951, whereas the small apartment building to the south, the Southside Apartments, has stood since the early 1920s.
The motel itself replaced two older houses, but initially left a third in place on the south end of the property, a house that was later replaced by the two-story addition that currently houses the motel office and additional rooms.
By the early 1980s, with the decline of the area's motel industry, the Longhorn was offering weekly rates, catering more to residents than the tourist trade.