Wikipedia describes the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado as a "138-room Gregorian hotel...[which] offers panoramic views of the Rockies." This statement couldn't be more true. The hotel, built in 1909 by Freelan Stanley, has been host to the rich and famous for nearly a century. I know this because I bought a 100 year anniversary mug. But I probably would have figured it out after awhile anyway. Nevertheless, the hotel is a reminder of a time gone by. Life was much simpler when this hotel was built, and the growth of the local community can attest to this.
When the hotel was built, Estes Park was nowhere near the size it is today. Even in the last twenty-five years, the surrounding landscape of the hotel has changed considerably. My parents went on their honeymoon to Estes Park, and my mother couldn't believe how much the town has changed since she last saw it. The most notable and unfortunate addition has been a full suburban-esque shopping center, complete with a Safeway, built at the base of the hotel, successfully ruining the initial image of the Stanley Hotel as one first drives into town.
Upon entering the hotel's lobby, guests are transported back to an earlier time. The lobby features an original Stanley Steamer, as well as a vintage piano (with a prominent "Do Not Play" sign). The hotel itself, the inspiration for Stephen King's The Shining, has gone through various owners over the years. And for much of its life, the hotel was in severe disarray. The most recent sale of the hotel was for a mere three million dollars, though I'm sure it was advertised as a fixer-upper. Still, the Stanley Hotel is a wonderful remnant of a time gone by, and is worth a visit.
You can view more photographs from this trip on my Colorado Flickr set.