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Stanley Hotel District
U.S. National Register of Historic Places
U.S. Historic District
The Stanley Hotel is located in Colorado
Location: 333 Wonder View Ave., Estes Park, Colorado
Coordinates: 40°23′0″N 105°31′6″W / 40.383333°N 105.51833°W / 40.383333; -105.51833Coordinates: 40°23′0″N 105°31′6″W / 40.383333°N 105.51833°W / 40.383333; -105.51833
Architect: Stanley,F.O.
Architectural style(s): Renaissance, Tuscan
Governing body: Private
Added to NRHP: June 20, 1985
NRHP Reference#: 85001256

[1]

The Stanley Hotel

The Stanley Hotel is a 138-room Georgian hotel in Estes Park, Colorado. Located within sight of the Rocky Mountain National Park, the Stanley offers panoramic views of the Rockies. It was built by Freelan O. Stanley of Stanley Steamer fame and opened on July 4, 1909, catering to the rich and famous, including the Titanic survivor Margaret Brown, John Philip Sousa, Theodore Roosevelt, the Emperor and Empress of Japan, and a variety of Hollywood personalities.[2] The Stanley Hotel also hosted Stephen King, inspiring him to write The Shining. Contrary to information sometimes published King was living in Boulder at the time and did not actually write the novel at the hotel. Parts of the mini-series version of The Shining were filmed there, although it was not used for Stanley Kubrick's cinematic version. The hotel and its surrounding lands are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[3].

The Stanley Hotel shows the uncut R-rated version of Kubrick's The Shining on a continuous loop on Channel 42 on guest room televisions.

Contents

History

In 1903, F. O. Stanley, co-inventor of the Stanley Steamer automobile, came to Estes Park for his health.[4] Stanley suffered from tuberculosis and came West at his doctor's suggestion. The doctor arranged for the couple to stay in a cabin in Estes Park for the summer. Immediately, they fell in love with the area and Stanley's health began to dramatically improve.[2] Impressed by the beauty of the valley and grateful for the improvement in his health, he decided to invest his money and his future there. In 1909, he opened the elegant Stanley Hotel, a classic hostelry exemplifying the golden age of touring.[4]

Hotel Lobby‎

After spending the summer in the cabin, Flora wanted a home like the one she had left in Maine. Their home was built about one-half mile west of where the Stanley Hotel would later be built. Today the house is a private residence.[2]

Stanley built the hotel on land that he purchased from the English Earl Lord Dunraven. Dunraven came to the area in 1872 while on a hunting trip. He built a hunting lodge, cabin, and hotel for his guests and illegally homesteaded up to 15,000 acres (61 km2) in an unsuccessful attempt to create a private hunting preserve. Dunraven was finally run out of the area after trying to swindle folks out of their land and money.[2][4]

Vintage Stanley Steamer in hotel lobby

In 1907, construction started on the Stanley Hotel. Wood and rock were obtained from the nearby mountains and the hotel was built in the Georgian architectural style, which experienced a revival in the early Twentieth century. Equipped with running water, electricity, and telephones, the only amenity the hotel lacked was heat, as the hotel was designed as a summer resort.[2]

Hauntings

Many believe the Stanley Hotel is haunted, having reported a number of cases of ghostly activity, primarily in the ballroom. Kitchen staff have reported to have heard a party going on in the ballroom, only to find it empty. People in the lobby have allegedly heard someone playing the ballroom's piano; employees investigating the music supposedly find nobody sitting at the piano. Employees believe that particular ghost is of Freelan O. Stanley's wife, who used to be a piano player. In one guest room, people claim to have seen a man standing over the bed before running into the cupboard. This same apparition is allegedly responsible for stealing guests' jewellery, watches, and luggage. Others reported to have seen ghosts in their rooms in the middle of the night, simply standing in their room before disappearing.

The Syfy television show Ghost Hunters was invited to investigate the hotel. The manager showed them the various places where these alleged ghost activity has occurred. Ghost Hunters discovered some rational reasons for the various phenomena, such as wind and pipes. However, they could not decipher incidents in the ballroom. Ghost Hunters also claimed to experience other paranormal occurrences, such as seeing people in hallways then hiding, and hearing children running and playing on the floor above them. The biggest alleged occurrence was that during changing of the film in the camera, a table jumped two feet in the air. Ghost Hunter Jason stayed the night in the room with the "ghost thief", Jason stated that the bed moved, the cupboard doors unlocked and opened and his thick glass by the bed cracked open on the inside.

Stephen King got the idea for The Shining after staying in the almost empty hotel on the night before it closed for an extended period.

Popular culture

The neoclassical hotel was the inspiration for the fictional Overlook Hotel in Stephen King's novel The Shining. While he and his wife were staying at the Stanley, King conceived the basic idea for the novel. The 1997 television miniseries version of The Shining was filmed at the Stanley, and it has been used as a location site for other films as well, most notably as the "Hotel Danbury" in Dumb and Dumber.[5]

In May 2006, investigators with The Atlantic Paranormal Society (TAPS) investigated the hotel for the SciFi program Ghost Hunters. TAPS returned to the hotel on October 31, 2006 for a live, six hour follow-up investigation. In November 2008, UK channel LIVING broadcast Most Haunted's investigation of the hotel.[6]

References

  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2008-04-15. http://www.nr.nps.gov/. 
  2. ^ a b c d e [=2007-05-10 "Rocky Mountain Legends"]. LegendsOfAmerica.com. =2007-05-10. 
  3. ^ "About The Stanley". StanleyHotel.com. http://www.stanleyhotel.com/about.html. Retrieved 2007-05-09. 
  4. ^ a b c "Rocky Mountain National Park - Culture". US-Parks.com. http://www.us-parks.com/rocky/culture.html. Retrieved 2007-05-10. 
  5. ^ "Stanley Hotel Ghost Story ". Allstays.com. http://www.allstays.com/Haunted/co_estespark_stanley.htm. Retrieved 2007-05-09. 
  6. ^ "New Most Haunted - Tuesday 11 November - Programme Details". Radio Times. http://www.radiotimes.com/ListingsServlet?event=10&channelId=197&programmeId=87760564&jspLocation=/jsp/prog_details_fullpage.jsp. Retrieved 2008-11-01. 

External links

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