There were smiles all around, with people picturing just how much flamboyant Spencer Penrose would have enjoyed the 100th anniversary celebration of his hotel, The Broadmoor.
On the night of June 2, reportedly much like the Penrose grand opening gala on June 29, 1918, formally attired guests, many from the business, philanthropic and social worlds, came from around the country and across the state to what is now a five-star resort.
That first dinner dance, planned as "a big blowout," had featured an orchestra brought in from New York City, according to newspaper reports.
The glittering centennial dinner dance in Broadmoor Hall lived up to history with high-energy music, Michael Jackson glitter gloves and musical theater entertainment by the Wayne Foster Show Band out of Southern California, a favorite of Hollywood stars and on the resort and country club circuit. It was one of the best nights for dancing many could remember. First dance went to resort owner Philip and Nancy Anschutz, a repeat of their requested song, "Stand by Me," at their recent 50th wedding anniversary party.
As has been Broadmoor tradition, the food got glowing reviews when the hotel opened, and 100 years later was no different. The Centennial Dinner presented salad from Broadmoor Farms, Dover Sole a la Meuniere with Maine lobster mousse, Charles Court Pepper Steak and, for dessert, baba au rhum.
The gala capped an entire weekend of activities and celebrations. It was a toast to a century of dreams and special history, said Steve Bartolin, chairman of The Broadmoor and president of The Broadmoor-Sea Island Co. As Bartolin and Broadmoor President/CEO Jack Damioli pointed out, The Broadmoor is that very rare place with only three owners over the past 100 years. It has no corporate brand, just three families passionate about a very special place.
Penrose had created something very grand, a hotel that could rival the best in Europe. Upon Penrose's death, the hotel and resort were transferred to his El Pomar Foundation. With changes in government regulation of nonprofits and foundations, The Broadmoor was sold to the Gaylord family. Edward L. Gaylord and Oklahoma Publishing owned 65 percent in 1988 and by 2004 were sole owners. They sold the resort to the Anschutz family, headed by Philip Anschutz, in 2011. Anschutz also owns Clarity Media Group, which publishes The Gazette.
The heads of the Gaylord and Anschutz families already had something special in common: The Broadmoor. As boys, Edward L. Gaylord and Philip Anschutz had vacationed at the resort with their families. Anschutz was just 10 when he told his father he was going to buy the hotel.
Today the resort is in an Anschutz trust and can't be sold for 100 years. The meaning behind the trust as well as the rich family history of The Broadmoor itself, brought Bartolin and all the gala guests to raise their commemorative champagne glasses in a 100-year toast.
Several generations of the Gaylord and Anschutz families, as well as descendants of Spencer Penrose's mining-era partner Charles Tutt, were part of the centennial celebration.