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The Hosts of The Pines Motel

Anna MayAnna May Cory, co-owner of The Pines Motel, is very energized about their new Electric Vehicle(EV)and Tesla Charging Stations. The motel is Certified Green by the Arizona Hotel & Lodging Association and is expanding their commitment to preserving the environment beyond the charming homemade note pads in the rooms (“No wasted paper!”), in-room recycling and low-flow facilities to now include state-of-the-art charging stations.
Fairly bubbling with excitement, Anna May discusses the values that have made The Pines Motel one of the top picks on Trip Advisor in the entire Verde Valley, ranking their 25-room motel up among those with much higher room counts…and price tags.
“We are a Triple A (AAA) two-star motel,” says Anna May. “But only because of our size.” The customer ratings on Trip Advisor for The Pines Motel are 4.5 out of 5! A quick review of Trip Advisor shows that the management of The Pines Motel answers every complaint with an explanation and invitation to come back. Urging their customers to “let us know” if there is anything they can do better has helped assure the success of this small yet modestly luxurious accommodation, centrally located in the Verde Valley of Arizona.
lakewoodAnna May comes from a real estate family having worked with her father at the Charles P. Cory REALTOR® agency. Following her father’s death she bought Hobart Health Foods from her father’s estate and, with her partner Bob Uveges, built Hobart into a successful chain of stores in several areas of Ohio. She never lost sight of her real-estate roots, though, always owning and/or managing properties along the way.
She and Bob left Ohio for “greener pastures” (literally, places where it snowed less often!) and stayed awhile in Aspen, Colorado, which was, according to Anna May, “…a great place to bring up children.” Her family is the center of her universe and most of her business – and volunteer – ventures have involved family. She and Bob trod the boards at the Wheeler Opera House in Aspen while running other businesses there. Then she took off to New York City so her multi-talented son Cory could attend a performing arts high school, making the long commute back to Aspen whenever possible.
Upon leaving Colorado (looking for even less snow…) Anna May and Bob came to the Verde Valley where they owned the Prickly Pear Restaurant in Sedona for several years. She cut her hospitality-industry teeth while managing the Red Canyon Inn in Sedona, learning the business by being mentored by the professional Camelback Hotel Corporation, who owned it at the time.Bob and Anna May
She had the opportunity to help the Verde Canyon Railroad (now a partner with The Pines Motel in one of their many fun-filled packages) expand their facilities and services and, already in love with the Verde Valley, fell hard for a tiny motel high up on a hill overlooking Cottonwood.
She and Bob bought The Pines Motel in 2001and immediately set about renovating and expanding it. Due to geographical constraints, they settled on a 25 room capacity, which makes it manageable for an energetic family to run. Especially a family that also runs the Cory Team Realty company.
Anna May says that she and Bob have no plans to retire, but they do enjoy their downtime nowadays, balancing business with family and the occasional time for pure relaxation.
Come in and meet Anna May, Bob and the rest of the family at The Pines Motel. Whether your electric car needs a charge or your plans include spending a week exploring the Verde Valley and Sedona…this beautiful and comfortable motel makes your stay a pleasure.
Co-owner and Harley enthusiast, Bob Uveges, was born to Hungarian parents who immigrated to America and settled in Cleveland. Growing up in a hard-working farm family, Bob helped his brother build houses where he learned – and honed – his skills as a carpenter, painter and designer of beautiful and practical spaces.
His professional career arc, which is quite varied, began at a lumber yard, where he worked to save money for college. After getting his degree in Industrial Engineering, Bob worked for Trane Air Conditioning as a sales engineer for commercial equipment and continued building barns with his brother.
Once he met Anna May Cory, they began a life together that has taken them all over the USA before bringing them to Arizona. They owned a chain of health-food stores in Ohio which gave them the means to work in other fields that interested them.
They left Ohio and made their way to Colorado, where they owned some seasonal businesses (and could go skiing!) Bob and Anna May both became involved in productions at the Wheeler Opera House, an institution in Aspen for well over a century. Bob built sets, helped with lights and rigging and encouraged Anna May, who appeared in several productions.
anna-may-and-bob-on-bikeWorking at The Wheeler brought Bob and Anna May into contact with various luminaries of the time. Once he even helped Miami Vice actor Don Johnson do a million dollar remodeling while managing Don’s ranch.
But he also set out prospecting for gold, which he still does once in a while as a hobby (he’s a member of the Lost Dutchman Mining Association and the Gold Prospectors Association.) He tells a great story about a vein he found that eventually became a mother lode…but not until after he was gone! Bob says happily that he has “been all over” in the course of his lifetime.
When he and Anna May first came to Arizona, they owned The Prickly Pear Restaurant in Sedona, with a menu of whole-grain and healthful items; a popular gathering place for locals and tourists alike.
All along the way Anna May had maintained her career in real estate, so she asked Bob to get his license too. He did so, which helped them in sales and the property management business, among many other aspects of real estate.
Having been known for most of his life as “Bob You Fix It” it was a natural fit for him to become the master craftsman in remodeling The Pines Motel when he and Anna May bought it in 2001.
You’ll probably see Bob down in the shop area of the motel. He and Anna May now share hosting activities with younger family members, but they are on site much of the time.
There is more to this story, and you are encouraged to visit with Bob when you stay at The Pines Motel. Although he doesn’t have much spare time, he still attends the motorcycle rally in Sturgis every year and maintains his membership in the Harley Owners Group (HOG).
So whether you glide up silently in an electric car or roar up on your bike (please be courteous to other guests!) Bob and Anna May welcome you to The Pines Motel.

 

MarthaWorking in one of the area’s top Mom and Pop motels (per Trip Advisor!) is “a pleasure” according to family member Martha Bruening, who has been there about eight years. This bright, bilingual lady says that she loves working with staff and guests to assure the highest quality service and accommodations.
Chances are you’ll meet her when you check in as she frequently staffs the front desk, but she also does the bookkeeping and serves as a “Jill of All Trades,” pitching in wherever she’s needed.
The Pines Motel, which has a customer rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars on Trip Advisor, is affordable and very clean, but this little bio is about Martha, so here we go:
Martha’s dad made significant sacrifices to work and support his family of eight kids (Martha is the youngest.) Her parents and her siblings made sure that getting an education was a priority. Born and raised in a classic Mexican small town near Durango, Mexico, Martha came to the United States and graduated from Red Rock High School in Sedona, Arizona, with honors. She says that her family taught her to work hard and to achieve goals. She also says that her childhood was the “best ever”… living in a small town, playing outside with other kids and enjoying neighborhood get-togethers.
Quite the athlete in her younger years, Martha played volleyball as well as running and hiking with friends.
It’s no surprise that this family-oriented young woman flourishes working at a family-owned business. Of course, the level of commitment in family businesses engenders more challenges – and rewards – than just about any other job. A reward, for example: Martha’s daughter Kiara has essentially grown up onsite; no daycare required. Martha says “I am blessed to be able to live this life.”
In her spare time, Martha happily participates in family activities, most of which revolve around Kiara. A talented gymnast, Kiara trains five days a week. Additionally, Kiara is currently being homeschooled so both Martha and her hubby Cory pitch in with the curriculum.
Sundays, says Martha, are family days when the three of them spend time doing fun things together.
Martha is well-known to the many repeat customers at the Pines Motel, where travelers come for cost-effective accommodations as well as many packages for events and activities in the area.
Please be sure, Martha says, to let the front desk know if you need anything during your stay at The Pines Motel. “We can help answer most questions quickly and to your satisfaction if you’ll let us know.”
Working at The Pines Motel, Martha concludes, is the perfect blend of work and family. Come join the family!
CoryCory Bruening is another on-the-go member of the talented family that owns and runs The Pines Motel. Staying busy is his credo as evidenced by his many motel-related activities and a host of other creative outlets.
Cory has “worn many hats” in his lifetime, many of them artistic. As a youth he started as a puppeteer with puppets he made himself. Cory’s first ambition was to join the Muppets’ team. He graduated from a performing arts high school in New York City where he studied acting, singing and dancing and taking piano lessons. Later, he worked for a time as a baker, making donuts. When he discovered computers, he began to learn programming languages, creating computer games and writing music. Cory eventually opened the first recording studio in the Sedona area and over the next 15 years, Cory Productions would record and produce more than 100 albums for many local musicians, many of them collaborations with projects featured all over the world including a mini- series for the Learning Channel called “Mystic Lands.” At the moment, photography is his joy and his short film, Sedona Time Lapse, was featured at the Sedona International Film Festival in 2014.Collage01b
Currently, his days are filled not only with working at The Pines Motel, but also with helping home school his daughter Kiara and helping to realize her goals for her gymnastics pursuits. “We feel fortunate to be able to provide this level of attention to Kiara while her interest in gymnastics is high,” Cory says, gleaming with pride over the achievements and disciplined efforts of his child.
Noting that being Anna May’s son has provided him with a life-long hands-on course in business management, Cory’s work ethic allows him to take everything in stride. He sees everything he has learned along the way as part of the mechanism for success that is imperative in his busy and talented family.
Cory says he enjoys working with family and though all are crossed trained, “everyone has their own specialty.” Running the motel has taught the family to work together and allows everyone to appreciate the efforts each puts in. It also allows them to fill in for each other whenever necessary.
You can watch the stunning Sedona Time Lapse at www.rcbimages.com. “A few seasons ago, I began a journey of taking time lapse footage in and around Sedona, Arizona USA. What you see is only a small part of those explorations. It had been my intention to capture Sedona in all of its magic and majesty but I know this could take many years…or perhaps a lifetime. There is plenty left to share and explore so I begin by calling this Volume One. Enjoy!”
When you are choosing a place to stay while you explore the Verde Valley and Sedona, why not take time to get acquainted with the multi-talented family that own and manages The Pines Motel.

 

KiaraWhat do you do when your family has been in business together for many years and you’ve literally grown up in the main office of a motel? If you are Kiara Bruening, you jump right in and become part of the team…well when you’re not doing schoolwork or gymnastics, that is!
A team player in many ways, Kiara is an especially talented gymnast, training five days every week. Her family works hard to make sure she gets the best training, spending many hours on the road to assure that she trains and competes with the crème de la crème.
She started gymnastics at age four and likes it because of the “…unique challenges I go through to get where I want to be.”
Plus she says, “It’s fun!” She says she enjoys the floor routines most of all.
A natural athlete, Kiara is also an extraordinary nail tech (non-professional) who says that painting her nails is her favorite non-gymnastic activity. Take a look at some of her “handy-work” pictured here. 
Kiara says that she is a fast learner when it comes to gymnastics and that she also enjoys the activities of the motel, occasionally picking up a ringing phone to put someone on hold when the team is busy or letting her mom know when the laundry is done. “I like to help with whatever needs doing,” she says.
But her busy schedule mostly keeps her focused on school and athletics, a perfect blend of fun and disciplined, focused activity.
Her mom and dad take her to gymnastics’ meets as far away as Las Vegas as she and her team strive for excellence. Kiara hopes to achieve a Level 10 in her skill set at some point. Each level takes several months and this smart, talented child is dedicated to the art and science of gymnastics.
Kiara is also into computers, like many people her age. She studies language arts, math/algebra, social science and other coursework every school day. If you see Kiara at The Pines Motel, chances are she’s plugged into her computer curriculum and focused on learning.
Like any child, Kiara has her favorite friends. They discuss fingernails and gymnastics and other fun activities. And they giggle and play with their pets. The family business of The Pines Motel is simply another aspect of Kiara’s happy world.