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A rustic getaway planned for Broadmoor guests
The Broadmoor hotel and resort, which is in the middle of a $60 million renovation, is adding another option for guests: a nine-cabin, 14-bedroom rustic ranch in the Pike National Forest that once was a getaway for Broadmoor founder Spencer Penrose.
The Broadmoor recently competed the purchase of buildings that make up the historic Emerald Valley Ranch, about 20 minutes west of the hotel, off Old Stage Road, said Steve Bartolin, the hotel’s president and CEO. The property will be renamed The Ranch at Emerald Valley; the $4 million project is targeted for a July 2013 opening, hesaid.
The ranch will become part of what Bartolin is calling The Broadmoor’s “wilderness experience” — a lodging package for outdoor enthusiasts that other five-star resorts don’t offer.
Like previous owners, The Broadmoor will lease the ranch land from the National Forest Service, while it guts and remodels the interiors of the buildings. Some cabins have two bedrooms with a living room, some have a single bedroom and a living room and others have one large bedroom. All have fireplaces and porches and will be remodeled to restore their historic character, Bartolin said.
Ranch guests will be able to hike, fish in nearby lakes, ride horses from The Broadmoor stables and camp overnight in the midst of the scenic Pike National Forest. A main lodge, where Penrose’s animal heads are still mounted on walls, will serve as a communal dining hall for guests.
The ranch is expected to accommodate individuals, families and corporate groups, Bartolin said.
“If you’re sitting in Palm Beach at the Breakers, and looking out at that vast ocean, there’s all kinds of things that take place,” Bartolin said. “One is just the natural beauty of it. People swim in the ocean, they’ll boat, they’ll fish and that becomes part of the whole recreational package.
“When you’re out here (at The Ranch at Emerald Valley) and you’re surrounded by 100,000 acres-plus of the Pike National Forest, and all that natural beauty, that becomes our ocean,” he said.
But if ranch guests decide they also want to play a round of golf, relax in a spa or have lunch or dinner at one of the hotel’s restaurants, The Broadmoor will shuttle them back to the hotel on Colorado Springs’ southwest side.
“There are a lot of really nice guest ranches in Colorado, Wyoming and Montana,” Bartolin said. “But how many of them tie back into a resort with all these amenities and options?
“That is a real distinction between the typical guest ranch,” he said. “The fact that you not only have the rustic wilderness wonderment that goes on there, but you have access to this array of dining and recreation that takes place here at The Broadmoor.”
The ranch’s history goes back more than a century.
In 1904, Grace Episcopal Church built a large cabin on the property, which was used as a recreation center or retreat, said Broadmoor archivist Beth Davis. The Girl Scouts of America took over the building in 1910.
Penrose, the gold and copper magnate who founded The Broadmoor in 1918, bought the cabin in 1923 and constructed additional buildings on site, Davis said. He used the property as a retreat for himself and friends.
Penrose, who called the property Camp Vigil in recognition of nearby Mount Vigil, then launched the Pikes Peak Camping and Mountain Trails Association — inviting well-heeled partners to invest $1,000 each in the property that they could all use as a retreat and getaway, Davis said. .
Two years after Penrose died in 1939, the buildings were donated to the community, and used by the YMCA, the Boy Scouts and other groups. The property became a dude ranch in 1946 under the ownership of a Texas man, and Camp Vigil was renamed Emerald Valley Ranch.
The Turley family of Colorado Springs has been the most recent owner of the property.
The Broadmoor, an internationally known five-star, five-diamond hotel and resort, has 744 rooms on 3,000 acres; its amenities include restaurants, a spa, golf courses, retail shops and a 60,000-square-foot exhibition hall.
The $60 million renovation that began this year includes upgrading and enlarging Broadmoor West’s 152 rooms; replacing the Charles Court restaurant with a new Adam D. Tihany-designed Italian restaurant; doubling the size of the Golden Bee pub; and creating a dining and entertainment center that will feature a six-lane bowling alley.
The Broadmoor is owned by the Anschutz Corp., whose Clarity Media Group on Friday announced the acquisition of The Gazette.
Contact Rich Laden: 636-0228 Twitter @richladen
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