Hotel Colorado aging beautifully |

Hotel Colorado aging beautifully

Some things in life, like fine wine, grow better with age. Such is the case with the historic Hotel Colorado.

This weekend, the Hotel Colorado will celebrate its 110th birthday. The entire community has reason to join together in wishing the hotel not only a happy birthday but many happy returns. It is a hotel with rich history. It was built during the heart of the Silver Rush.

Only the elite were initially invited to experience the grandness of the facility. Soon after, all were welcome and still are.

It’s no surprise the Hotel Colorado is known as the “Grand Dame.” Ten thousand tons of stone were used in construction, as well as 3 million bricks, 12,000 yards of carpet, 170 fireplaces, two elevators and 2,000 rose bushes. Some 500 invitations were mailed out for the grand opening.

In the years that followed, notable guests included Molly Brown, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, Diamond Jack, Buffalo Bill and Doc Holliday.

And then there are the ghost stories. Just like the building, the tales become more intriguing with time.

Housemen have reportedly seen an old cowboy dressed in western attire in the basement. There is a recurring story about a young girl wearing a Victorian dress, playing ball in the corridors. One recent color photograph displays a misty figure behind a piano, which appears to be sitting in a rocking chair.

Shots taken by our own staff photographers have revealed strange hues.

Today, guests and locals enjoy the hotel for its magnificence and history. The hotel’s owners, the Bastain family of Wichita, Kan., have reinvested in the facility and recently renovated the Molly Brown Suite.

Every Christmas the hotel rings in the holiday season with a community gathering. Gone are the restrictions allowing only the wealthy. Everyone is invited to witness the spectacular lighting of the hotel’s courtyard area, followed by a fireworks display. Kids can visit with Santa Claus.

This Sunday, the 110th birthday celebration continues with an open house. There will be face painting, cotton candy, hot dogs, hamburgers and a birthday cake, and the staff will bury a time capsule to be opened in 2043.

Happy birthday. One hundred and ten candles on a cake never looked so good.

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