Future hinged on success of the Hot Springs Co. | PostIndependent.com

Future hinged on success of the Hot Springs Co.

Frontier Diary
Willa Soncarty
Registrar, Frontier Historical Society and Museum
Frontier Historical Society photoIn less than a year, the construction of the Hotel Colorado was complete. Dignitaries from across the state attended the gala grand opening on June 10, 1893. Without the deeding of all of the hot mineral waters that may be present under the streets and alleys of Glenwood Springs to the Glenwood Hot Springs Co., the Hotel Colorado might never have been built.

By Willa Soncarty

Registrar, Frontier Historical Society and Museum

By 1891, Walter Devereux’s grand plan for the development of Glenwood Springs was nearly complete. His Glenwood Hot Springs Co. had developed the town’s largest hot springs into a world-class pool. The vapor caves had been developed and improved. However, what was still incomplete was the construction of a grand hotel.

Devereux had been busy obtaining foreign capital, securing $500,000 to build what would become the Hotel Colorado. However, the work had not begun. Many Glenwood Springs residents had become weary of the delay in the hotel’s construction, prompting rumors that others would finish what the Glenwood Hot Springs Co. had promised but failed to complete. These rumors made the foreign investors nervous.

In June 1892, Walter Devereux approached the Glenwood Springs City Council, requesting a deed to all of the hot mineral waters that may be present beneath the town’s streets and alleys. A deed to these waters would prevent the sinking of town wells, thereby protecting the source of the hot springs as well as prohibiting competing mineral water development. This concession would appease investors and assure the construction of the hotel.

Council held a public hearing on June 23, 1892. Devereux explained his company’s position. After his presentation, most in attendance found that the prosperity of the town hinged directly upon the prosperity of the Glenwood Hot Springs Co. This realization created an affirmative vote to the deed. The council also agreed but with one stipulation: that the deed would be transferred on Jan. 1, 1893, only if the hotel’s construction was under way and good faith made in its completion.

During the afternoon of June 25, 1892, excavation began on the hotel site. The Hotel Colorado officially opened a year later, on June 10, 1893.

“Frontier Diary” is provided to the Post Independent by the Frontier Historical Society and Museum, 1001 Colorado Ave., Glenwood Springs. Summer hours are 1-4 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

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