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Additional Images
Primary Object
Commemorative Program
Title/Object Name
Commemorative Program
May 1, 1993

H – 11” W – 8.5”

Artifact Descriptions
Thirty page commemorative program from the May 1, 1993 opening of the Mission Inn.  Included in the program is a history of the Mission Inn and lists of those participating in the opening festivities.
Artifact Origin Map

Historic Context/Relationship to Mission Inn/Significance to Local and Regional History

The Collections Movers and Shakers | Ronald and Nancy Reagan
Duane Roberts

Updated: October 6, 2006

ission Inn founder Frank A. Miller was affectionately known as the “Master of the Inn.”  That role is now the responsibility of Duane R. Roberts.  Mr. Roberts, who purchased the hotel in December of 1992, is considered the “Keeper of the Inn.”  Common to both men is/was creativity and a drive to succeed.   

Duane Roberts was born in Riverside, attended Bryant Elementary School and graduated from Poly High School.  While still a teenager and working at Butcher Boy Food Products, a company founded by his father, Duane Roberts realized that fast food would become central to the American diet.  He formulated and introduced the first commercially available frozen burrito.  Prior to selling the company in 1980, the company was producing over one million burritos in a day. 

Mr. Roberts went on to create another food company named Fernando’s Food Corporation that became the second largest foodservice manufacturer of frozen Mexican food in the United States.  He then branched out to other interests, including real estate, home building, and financial investments, as well as continuing to own food-manufacturing companies in the United Kingdom.

In 1992, without the benefit of previous hotel experience, Mr. Roberts purchased the National Historic Landmark Mission Inn.  The doors of the hotel reopened after a seven-year period of closure. A gala opening ceremony was held in May of 1993.  Former President Ronald Reagan and his wife, Nancy, served as the honorary co-chairmen of the event. Today the hotel is a community and financial success.   Once again the Mission Inn is a viable and essential part of Riverside’s downtown thanks to Mr. Roberts’s efforts.


Online Links & Resources


  • Lech, Steven and Kim Jarrell Johnson. (2006). Riverside's Mission Inn.  Mount Pleasant, SC:  Arcadia Publishing.

  • Moore, Barbara. (Ed.). (1998).  Historic Mission Inn.  Riverside:  Friends of the Mission Inn.

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