on September 14, 2000
During my High School years (Wasson High 66, Go Thunderbirds, etc.) there were three Abercrombie and Fitch stores in the country--New York, San Francisco, and the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs. Since then 'Abercrombies' has devolved into a slightly snottier Gap, but the Broadmoor is still the dowager of the West, as impeccably and obsessively elegant as in the days when the Cripple Creek goldfields gave 'Cattlerattle Springs' more millionaires per capita than any place in the world, yet gracious welcoming of all comers.
The Broadmoor is a lot more than just a hotel. It hosts the Bob Hope golf classic. It has its own lake, which Maxfield Parrish moved around to the front when he painted the Old Girl's portrait. It has an ice rink, but so does Madison Square Gardens. But THIS rink is Broadmoor World Arena, one of the most famous frost jobs in the skating world--more Olympians have trained in the Arena than any other dozen US rinks, from Peggy Fleming (also class of 1966, but from the slightly inferior Cheyenne Mountain HS) to the present day when it forms a major sinew of the Olympic Training Center program. Not to mention yearly international hockey tournaments that no other town in the US can touch. They have their own rodeo stadium here, an ammenity noticably lacking at the Ritz Carlton and scene of the Pikes Peak or Bust rodeo and reign of the much coveted Girl of The Golden West. (I once dated a GGW, but omitted Michel's and lost out). Which reminds me, they also have a ski area, right there in town. It may be small and icy, but it's where I learned to do the Christie. (probably because I DID take Christie to Michel's). This plus all the usual accoutrements of a world-class hotel/resort.
The Broadmoor is nestled beautifully into the Front Range where the Eastern Colorado plains suddenly, dramatically and without preamble, tilt up to become the Rockies. Just walk around the lobby and get a perspective on how things used to be done. Well, okay, how things used to be done for the wealthy. But as Cousin Max sort of said in the 'Sound of Music', it's not how the rich live, it's how you live when you're around them.
Cheap populism aside, the Broadmoor is was magificent when built in 1918, and remains so today, one of the great hotels of the Americas and arguable the finest in the West.
There's the usual drawback to all this elegance--it will set you back anywhere from $190 a room to over $2500 for a suite ( take a deep breath--I do a lot of typos, but that isn't one of them) If it makes you feel better, think $91,2500 a year, NOT including breakfast.
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