Thursday, June 17, 2010

The General, Age 112

Walking down Durango's (CO) Main Street today will highlight the citizens' connection to rafting and cycling.

Walking down this same street in 1898 would have found the citizens focused on the gold and silver in the San Juan Mountains.

And the one constant in both of these scenes would have been the General Palmer Hotel.

It was General William Palmer who brought the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad to Durango in 1881 and in so doing established the town to serve as its rail hub to the area's vast mineral wealth.

The Victorian elegance of the past is remembered through the furniture in the lobby and in the library located just off the lobby.

As we began taking photos, we could almost sense the slower-paced atmosphere reflected in the quiet space set aside for reading or subdued conversation.

We couldn't imagine a conversation taking place--even today between long-last friends--that would rise above a level that could be overheard by a guest approaching the registration desk.

In a time when hotels rarely set aside space that does not generate income, it is a welcome sight to find elegant space devoted to just "being there."

Located on a wall at the end of the hallway between the lobby and this solarium was a plaque noting that the Hotel had been awarded Four Diamond Status by AAA.

When I commented on the significance of this award, the staff member at the registration desk proudly added that the Hotel had earned this recognition for 32 consecutive years.

I commented that I thought the stained glass windows contributed to the Hotel's welcoming atmos-phere.

She added that guests comment favorably on two little touches that they provide--freshly baked muffins each morning and Teddy Bears on every bed.