121 Years of Legendary Hospitality
In 1893, Hotel Colorado arrived on the scene during a thrilling time in the history of America’s West. With its European fashioned spa, the resort surfaced onto a land of prosperity; to serve the wealthy, to house the ailing, to offer a playground to society’s elite. The Hotel Colorado’s originator, Walter Devereux, spared no expense in the creation of the "Grande Dame." The south court, the current courtyard, had a large pool in its center from which an electrically lit fountain shot a jet of water 185 feet high into the air, making an iridescent rainbow spray against the sunlight.
Situated in the existing lounge, a sheet of water twelve-feet broad dropped in a waterfall a distance of twenty-five feet from the rear-wall rim to a pool beneath. Guests could sit beside the pool in the early morning catching trout enough for their breakfast.
Many presidents have visited the Hotel Colorado. On September 23, 1909, President William Howard Taft arrived in his private train car. He was presented with wild raspberries and mountain trout for breakfast and shown the vapor baths and pool. A parade of carriages carried Taft and his party to Hotel Colorado. When offered exclusive use of the Hot Springs pool, he declined saying, "I’ve found it’s much better for a man of my size not to bathe in public." After being presented with raspberries and mountain trout for breakfast, he spoke to 700 people from the Hotel’s "Roosevelt" balcony.
President Theodore Roosevelt
In 1905, Hotel Colorado became the temporary home for the President of the United States and his assistants during a three-week bear hunting expedition. Already a fan of the state of Colorado, Roosevelt stayed at the Hotel Colorado on multiple occasions. On a three-week trip in January 1901, the Vice-President hunted mountain lion on the Keystone Ranch near Meeker. It was reported by his guide that Colonel Roosevelt hung over a cliff to shoot a wounded lion between the eyes. Roosevelt’s first trip to Glenwood Springs delighted him so much that he returned year after year. According to legend, the world's most irresistible toy, the teddy bear, received its birth at Hotel Colorado. To cheer Theodore Roosevelt after an unsuccessful day of hunting, Hotel Colorado maids presented him with a stuffed bear pieced together with scraps of fine material. Later, when he did bag a bear, his daughter Alyce admired it saying, "I will call it Teddy." The term caught on and became the name for the world's most popular toy, the Teddy Bear. We invite you to join us in Legends Trading Company to see the latest Teddy Bear collectibles.
Diamond Jack Alterie
During the roaring '20s, Hotel Colorado became an attractive playground for Chicago gangsters such as the Verain Brothers, Bert and Jack (alias Diamond Jack Alterie). Armed in gun belts, Diamond Jack Alterie wore flashy diamonds in rings, shirt studs, watches, and belt buckles. Cloaked in bodyguards, these big spenders arrived at the Hotel Colorado via large Lincoln convertibles.
The Unsinkable Molly Brown
Rising quickly to wealth as a result of her husband’s abundant gold strike, Molly Brown visited the Hotel Colorado to enjoy one of society’s favorite playgrounds. Today, one of the Hotel's Tower Suites has been transformed into a living tribute to this dynamic woman of history. The Molly Brown Suite is magnificently appointed with family photos, memorabilia, and period furnishings.
In May, 1887 a tuberculosis-filled gambler with a reputation for violence rode into Glenwood Springs. John H. "Doc" Holliday, thirty-five-years-old and deceitfully charming, managed to have strength to play for gambling houses even though battling for his life. Though his visit preceded the existing Hotel Colorado, his therapy at the Hot Springs forever links him to the historic beginnings of the hotel. When he died on November 8, 1887, his employers took up a collection to pay for his grave... the second grave in the Linwood Cemetery. A marker still memorializes him and his involvement with Wyatt Earp at the legendary shoot-out at the O.K. Corral.
Hotel Colorado Fountains of Enchantment
The History of Hotel Colorado is a magical journey through time, From the late 1800s to the new millennium, the timeless secrets of a rich century are unlocked within the pages of this beautifully illustrated, hard cover book. Presidents, silver barons, debutantes, society's elite, movie stars and romantics have graced this Grand Dame's hallways each leaving an indelible footprint for us to forever remember. What began as a simple historical record became a five-year labor of research, writing, and love. Each upturned stone opened the door to ten additional enduring pieces of heritage. These pages capture the highlights. Let the splendor of Hotel Colorado's history, legends, and images take you to places you may have never been... Fountains of Enchantment.