Open House brings Inn back to life

Congratulations!

This past summer, a Sheridan institution – the Historic Sheridan Inn — looked just flat-out lonely. Bereft. No tour buses parked outside. No guests or visitors walking in and around on the distinctive and expansive front porch. No Rotary Club lunches; no lunches of any sort (or happy hours) at the 1893 restaurant/bar. No weddings. Locked up tight.

Empty. The real estate listing – ABC Realty of Sheridan – was a reminder of its status.

That’s changed and the community is lifted.

Bob Townsend and Dana Townsend purchased the Inn. They have homes in Big Horn and in Oklahoma and hope to complete the second and third story remodeling of rooms as soon as possible. They hosted an open house for the public last Saturday.

It was a packed house, as expected.

“There is just something about the Inn that elicits passion from people,” Townsend told The Sheridan Press earlier this month.

Indeed.

 

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Speaking of iconic hotels……

Denver’s landmark Brown Palace Hotel is for sale. Though it’s under construction for a new outside façade and its owners, the top-shelf hotelier, Quorum, has spent more than $19 million on upgrading its spa, ballrooms and suites, there could be a glut of rooms in Denver in the near future. The big one is the 1,500-room Gaylord Conference Center near DIA.

Henry Brown opened in the distinctive, triangular-shaped hotel, just blocks from the state’s golden-domed capitol in 1892. It’s the second oldest, next to the Oxford Hotel, also in operation. In its 121-year history, the Brown has had but three owners. The Brown consists of 241 rooms; across the street is its sister property, the Comfort Inn, with 231 rooms. Both presidents named Roosevelt, both named Bush and many others, have stayed at the Brown. The big name guest, though, commemorated with a brass plaque: the Beatles.

The hotel is appraised at almost $30 million. It’s estimated that the hotel will sell for more than $32 million, according to reports from the Denver Business Journal.

 

One Sheridan connection to the Brown is the pianist Jon Kite. He’s got some family and friends here. Jon’s been the lobby/atrium pianist since 1990. He also holds forth in the Ship’s Tavern Bar, arguably the best piano bar ever in Denver.

 

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Predictably at this time of year, there’s a glut of “scary” movies on the cable to tie in with Halloween. The American Film Institute says the most frightening movie of all time is the 1960 Hitchcock classic, “Psycho.” Scary stuff, indeed. (My whole family went when I was a child with my older brother grabbing my knee precisely at the moment when Vera Miles spins the desiccated corpse of Mrs. Bates into view.)

My money’s on the 1980 movie, “The Shining.” A psychic son, a nervous and shy wife, a writer-father-husband slowly going crazy. They’re all locked down in a remote Colorado winter hotel with a blizzard raging outside. What could possibly go wrong?

 

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Happy Halloween!

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