Monday, October 29, 2012

ESTES PARK, COLORADO, AND THE STANLEY HOTEL...


"It's just that, you know, some places are like people. Some "shine" and some don't"...Dick Halloran/The Shining (photo courtesy The Stanley Hotel)
About an hour's drive from Denver, at the east entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park, sits beautiful Estes Park (7,522 feet above sea level).
Founded in 1859, this year-round mountain getaway provides world-class hiking and climbing, fishing, wildlife sightings (elk and deer are a common sight, wandering through town), golfing, galleries, unique shops, a varied array of dining and lodging choices, and the spectacularly haunting inspiration for Steven King's novel, The Shining ~ The Stanley Hotel.  Trail Ridge Road, the highest continuous highway in the United States, runs from Estes Park west through Rocky Mountain National Park, reaching Grand Lake over the Continental Divide.
A plug for our favorite eatery in town, POPPY'S PIZZA AND GRILL.  Weather permitting, you can dine out on the covered patio, right next to the Big Thompson River.  The food is FABULOUS, and the staff is awesome.  Right on the main drag...I wouldn't steer you wrong!
With your hunger satisfied and a penchant for more sightseeing, The Stanley Hotel looms large above town, and is begging to be explored.  And what a perfect week to tell you a bit about this charming old haunt...muahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!
The Stanley Hotel, while known for its architecture and magnificent setting, may possibly be best known as being THE inspiration behind Stephen King's novel, "The Shining" (photo courtesy The Stanley Hotel).
The hotel has been featured on numerous paranormal television shows as one of America's most haunted hotels and with numerous firsthand stories from visitors and staff alike, The Stanley Hotel continues to "shine" today, as it did in 1909 when first opened (you know this isn't one of my photos, though I have been known to make it my screen saver on my phone around Halloween, laying claim to them as my children...the Grady twins, from the Stanley Kubrick movie - gotta' love those creepy girls!).
F.O. Stanley (and his famous Stanley Steamer) arrived in Estes Park in 1903.  F.O. set out to change the local economy and, on 160 acres, Stanley constructed 11 buildings in the original Stanley Hotel complex. Many of those original buildings remain in use today on the remaining 55 acres.
Construction of the Main Building began in 1907 and took two years to complete.  Multiple renovations have restored this 140-guest room hotel to its original grandeur, earning it a place on the National Register of Historic Places and, Historic Hotels of America.
F.O. Stanley also helped to shape tourism in Estes Park, building the road on which he brought visitors, riding in a Stanley Steamer (of course), to Estes Park and The Stanley Hotel. This was the first time in history that an automobile, instead of a train, was used to transport people to a resort area (and those would be Prairie Dogs on the lawn...charming, though annoyingly destructive, little critters).
The interior of the hotel is JUST as grand as the exterior.  I did not make it inside on this trip (though the exterior shots with the beautiful blue CO sky are my photos), and could not lay my hands on my own photos of the interior from a previous visit.  Believe me - it's spectacular, all the way around. It is said that most all of the rooms in the hotel have had “out-of-the-ordinary” experiences reported over the years.  F.O. and Flora Stanley are said to still spend time at the hotel, walking the lobby and playing the beloved piano in the Music Room.
The Shining Ball and Murder Mystery Dinner are an annual event at the hotel...if you dare.  "Boy, I bet you we could really have a good party in this room, huh hon?"...Wendy Torrance/The Shining
The hotel shows the uncut R-rated version of Kubrick's The Shining on a continuous loop on Channel 42 on guest room televisions.  "Come and play with us, Danny. Forever... and ever... and ever"...The Grady Twins/The Shining
Trivia...the original sinister room number in Steven King's novel was 217.  The lodge used for the movie shoot requested the number of the room be changed to 237, so that clients would not avoid their real room 217.
Whether a believer in the paranormal or not, the grandeur of this stunning old location demands a look around, for sure.  To plan a trip of your own, please visit STANLEYHOTEL.COM (where these final 5 photos were borrowed from) "I'm sorry to differ with you sir, but YOU are the caretaker. You've always been the caretaker. I should know sir. I've always been here"...Delbert Grady/The Shining

Happy Halloween!

11 comments:

Annie (Lady M) x said...

Hello! I have stopped by to visit after seeing your comment on 2 Bags Full blog. I am loving the pictures of the Shining Hotel. For some reason it doesn't look so sinister in the pictures. I am your newest follower by the way ;-)

Jackie said...

Wow, that is really cool inofrmation! I don't think I will be staying there anytime soon!! I am a big chicken when it comes to ghosts!

oldgreymare said...

While you run toward the macabre, I run screaming the other way..well except for WD lol

Sea Witch said...

What a terrific post. I love these back stories of real locations and all of the haunts that they nuture. Happy Halloween. Sea Witch

Dorthe said...

That surely is a grand and elegant old hotel- a place I would never go to sleep, after reading this exiting post of yours, dear. I have also never seen or read Steven King, and never will- :-) I am so easy to scare, and will not be able to sleep ceveral dayes after seing such things!!!
I know it is to laugh at, but thats the way I am Tanya.
Sweet dreams to you, when night arrives in your end of the world,-here it is nine o`clock evening.
Love and hugs,Dorthe

DearHelenHartman said...

It's gorgeous but... spooooookkkyyyyyy. Not for me. I would hate to say it if I ever stayed in a haunted place the worst thing would be that no one else would see anything but me and I'd look like a goofus.

Createology said...

Thank you dear...I feel like I have just ventured out on a mini vacation. This grand old hotel is gorgeous and shows the elegance of former times. Blessings...

bj said...

BOOOooooo....I was so danged scared watching THE SHINING, I barely saw this stunning hotel. :))

Jody and Stan said...

The shining was my favorite scary movie!
Just want to tell you Happy Halloween to you and your family! Thanks for stopping by, always love hearing from you!


Jody

Jillayne said...

Oh, perfect post! I love this, loved the movie (good ol' Jack!), and your pictures of the real McCoy are wonderful. Right about now I want to jump in the car and go for a great big driving holiday to Colorado... you should be in tourism Tanya!

vicki said...

Wow- what an incredible place--- what a great story!!! You take us to the best places girlfriend!!!

Vicki