June 29, 1918: On a site that was once a corn and wheat farm, then a dairy farm and later a casino, Philadelphia entrepreneur Spencer Penrose, who made his fortune in gold and copper mining, formally opens The Broadmoor hotel at the foot of Cheyenne Mountain. Cost: About $2 million.

1925: Penrose purchases and modernizes the Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway, which had been constructed in 1890.

1926: Penrose obtains a copy of plans of the St. Louis Zoo and starts construction of buildings to hold his private collection of animals, which he had kept on the grounds of his sprawling Spanish-style villa - called El Pomar - near Cheyenne Lake. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo then is built on the side of the mountain.

1928: A polo field and grandstand are built near The Broadmoor stables west of the hotel.

1930: The Broadmoor Riding Arena is built on the west shore of Cheyenne Lake.

1937: Penrose sets up the private El Pomar Foundation "to encourage and promote the general well-being of the inhabitants of the state of Colorado." The foundation takes over ownership of The Broadmoor when Penrose dies in 1939.

Jan. 1, 1938: The Broadmoor Ice Palace (renamed The Broadmoor World Arena in 1961) is opened in the renovated riding arena. Until it's razed in April 1994, the venue is the training ground for world and Olympic champions as well as the site of hockey games, ice shows and figure skating championships.

Summer 1938: The Will Rogers Shrine is dedicated on the side of Cheyenne Mountain above the zoo. Early plans were for the tower to be the final resting place for Spencer and Julie Penrose. As the idea grew, Penrose saw its commercial value, and it was changed to honor Will Rogers, who died in a plane crash shortly before the shrine was built.

1938: Will Rogers Stadium is built next to the World Arena on the west side of Cheyenne Lake. The stadium, which had also been the site of concerts and rodeos, was renamed for Spencer Penrose after his death. Penrose Stadium is moved in the 1970s to make way for Broadmoor West. Penrose Equestrian Center is dedicated in 1974 in Bear Creek Park.

Dec. 7, 1939: Spencer Penrose dies and is buried at the shrine on Cheyenne Mountain. Ownership of The Broadmoor transfers to the El Pomar Foundation.

1940s: During World War II, Broadmoor recreation areas, sports facilities and rooms are made available to military and their families for little or no cost.

Jan. 23, 1956: Julie Penrose dies and is buried next to her husband in the Will Rogers Shrine.

December 1959: The hotel builds a double-chairlift ski area, Ski Broadmoor, and a Winter House. In later years, an alpine slide is added for summer visitors.

1961: The International Center - a meeting, conference and entertainment facility - is added to the complex along with the 144-room, nine-story Broadmoor South tower topped with the Penrose Room restaurant.

1976: Broadmoor West, a new guest room building, opens on the west side of Cheyenne Lake.

1982: A second conference and exhibition hall facility, Colorado Hall, is built.

1988: The Federal Tax Reform Act of 1969 forces the El Pomar Foundation to sell its controlling interest in The Broadmoor. Oklahoma Publishing Co., a media and entertainment giant headed by billionaire Edward Gaylord, gains controlling interest.

1993: Plans are unveiled for a $12.2 million renovation involving the demolition of The Broadmoor Golf Club. In its place will be the three-story, 38,000-square-foot Broadmoor Spa, Golf and Tennis Club.

1995: Broadmoor West tower opens, increasing the resort to 700 rooms.

April 2002: A two-year, $75 million upgrade is completed. The project includes the addition of the new 21-unit Lakeside Suites building and an 11,000-square-foot infinity edge swimming pool on the north end of Cheyenne Lake.

September 2003: The Broadmoor announces plans for a $160 million expansion over five years. Included are a 60,000-square-foot events center, an underground parking structure, luxury condominiums and townhomes, a retail complex, expansion of the nine-hole south golf course into a Jack Nicklaus-designed 18-hole course and demolition of aging buildings, including a service station and garage and Broadmoor Florist Gifts and Greenhouse.

2004: Oklahoma Publishing buys the remaining interest in the hotel to become its sole owner.

Oct. 17, 2005: The Broadmoor opens its $28 million Broadmoor Hall events center next to Colorado Hall. Retail shops also are added between The Broadmoor's main building and south tower. The hotel also expands its real estate development with townhomes and condominiums on the property.

2006: An expanded mountain golf course reopens, while the hotel completes the renovation of The Broadmoor South Tower and Penrose Room restaurant.

2009: The hotel opens stand-alone cottages, which bring total accommodations to 744 units, including 107 suites and 44 cottage bedrooms.

2011: The Denver-based Anschutz Corp., headed by businessman Philip Anschutz, becomes owner of The Broadmoor when it purchases the assets of Oklahoma Publishing.

2013: The Broadmoor opens the Ranch at Emerald Valley, a Pike National Forest wilderness retreat where guests stay in luxury cabins and enjoy hiking, fly fishing, mountain biking and other outdoor activities. Also, a variety of renovations begin in Broadmoor West, including the Play at The Broadmoor restaurant and bowling alley.

2014: A major renovation of Broadmoor West - including a three-story addition with 31 guest rooms and suites - is completed, bringing The Broadmoor's total guest room count to 779. The hotel also opens Cloud Camp, a second wilderness retreat that's built atop Cheyenne Mountain on the site of Spencer Penrose's Cheyenne Lodge of the 1920s.

2015: A year after The Broadmoor buys Seven Falls from the Hill family, the longtime tourist attraction on the city's southwest side reopens to the public. The hotel spends $12 million to buy, rebuild and make over the property, which was closed after flooding damage in 2013; upgrades include picnic areas, a mining-themed restaurant and zip-line courses. Also, in 2015, The Broadmoor adds a third wilderness retreat - its Fly Fishing Camp along the Tarryall River, in the mountains west of the hotel.

2018: The hotel receives a five-diamond rating from the AAA travel organization for the 42nd straight year; The Broadmoor is the only North American property to receive the top rating each year since the awards were launched in 1976. The Broadmoor also receives five stars from Forbes Travel Guide for the 58th consecutive year, the longest streak for any hotel or resort in the 60 years of rankings by Forbes and its predecessor publications. Also, the hotel decides against reopening the Pikes Peak Cog Railway until it determines whether to rebuild and renovate the attraction, which would cost "tens of millions of dollars."

Sources: Gazette research and archives; The Broadmoor hotel; The Broadmoor Story by Helen M. Geiger; Broadmoor Memories by Elena Bertozzi-Villa

Load comments