The Brown Palace Hotel, Denver (1892)
The first of a long line of presidents to visit the Brown Palace was Teddy Roosevelt who arrived in 1905 after a bear hunting expedition. His entourage took up two floors. There was a banquet in his honor and $10 got you a seat. His group is said to have consumed 500 quarts of champagne and 1,500 cigars. (There is still a cigar lounge on the premises.) He supposedly was seen banging his fists on a banquet table while leading his guests in song. He returned to the Brown Palace in 1912 when he was seeking another term in the White House running (unsuccessfully) on the Bull Moose Party ticket.
The Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, Colo. (1908)
The Stanley Hotel is known as the hotel that inspired the Overlook Hotel in Stephen King’s novel the Shining, later made into a movie by Stanley Kubrick. King spent one night at the Stanley. In Room 217. That is the same room where in 1911, during a power outage caused by a thunderstorm, chambermaid Elizabeth Warren entered with a lit candle. Due to a gas leak this caused an explosion that sent Warren crashing through the floor and down into the dining room below. Warren had two broken ankles, but she survived and in fact continued to work in the hotel until the 1950’s when she passed away. Some say she has never left and is the reason why some guests in Room 217 find that their clothes have been folded and put away. She has also been suspected of inserting herself between unmarried guest couples.
YMCA of the Rockies, Estes Park, Colo. (1907)
During its more than 100 years of existence one of YMCA of the Rockies most famous visitors was a 1,000 pound bull elk named Samson. His was not a short stay. In fact, Samson was a seasonal visitor to the YMCA grounds for six years. According to Colorado Life magazine, “He would make the rounds on the Y grounds, where he had become trusting of humans and was admired and respected by staff and guests.” In 1995, Samson’s stay came to an abrupt end when he was illegally killed by a poacher with a crossbow. His death enraged the entire community of Estes Park. It resulted in tougher anti-poaching legislation that would become known as Samson’s Law. While the big guy was gone, it has been pointed out that he was quite prolific and had a large number of descendents. So his genes are no doubt still in evidence amongst the Estes Park elk population.