The Broadmoor Hotel: An Everlasting Emblem of Colorado History
The rich history of The Broadmoor is nearly as lengthy and vivid as the state of Colorado itself. The estate that would later become the goliath luxury resort began development in 1890, barely 14 years after Colorado received statehood.
But it wasn’t until nearly 20 years after the original Broadmoor Casino burned to the ground that Spencer Penrose purchased the rebuilt property and started turning the lackluster structure into a destination that would live on in Colorado grandeur.
The Grand Dame Vision of Spencer Penrose
Having earned his fortunes in gold mining, real estate, and ore processing, Spencer Penrose purchased the estate in 1916 and immediately went to work in bringing his vision to life. Shortly after acquiring the property, he announced his intention to build a golf course and other renovations.
Spencer spared no expense when it came to crafting his vision. He hired best-in-class architects Warren and Wetmore, who designed Biltmore and Ritz-Carlon hotels and also New York City’s Grand Central Station. He brought in gold tailings from processed ore in Cripple Creek (a source of his vast fortune) and used it in making the concrete for the main structure. In other words, The Broadmoor was built with gold!
Two years later, the hotel was officially open for business.
Built on Innovation, Successful on Dedication
Even with deep pockets and a masterful vision, Spencer’s project wasn’t without its hiccups.
The name ‘Broadmoor’ was already in use around the Colorado Springs area, but Penrose was determined to use it for himself. He resorted to reducing the size of the “a” and raising it above the other letters, which offered enough differentiation to move forward with the name.
His ongoing approach to innovation and dedication were key drivers behind his hotel’s success. Between the time the hotel opened to Spencer’s death in 1939, the resort grew to accommodate a stadium, horseback riding area, the Cheyenne Mountain Lodge, a greenhouse, and numerous renovations and improvements to the property.
It is largely because of Spencer’s commitment to The Broadmoor that the rest of Colorado Springs was able to flourish. He and his wife, Julie, helped to develop the area into the world-class destination it is today, and their legacy is sprinkled throughout the town to demonstrate the value of innovation, dedication, and stewardship.
The Penrose Legacy Lives
Spencer Penrose’s death in 1939 didn’t mark the end to his legacy. The Penroses’ dedication to history and tradition live on in the El Pomar Foundation, a 501c(3) organization focused on continuing the development of arts, culture, and civic initiatives just as Spencer and Julie did for much of their lives.
The Broadmoor Hotel still welcomes visitors in search of respite, adventure, or uniquities just as they have for over a century. Though having undergone changes to offer modern comforts, the property still whispers of its historic past that has made it one of the most beloved getaways for over six generations – and will continue to delight generations to come.