One travel regret Ruth & I share is that we have never stayed at The Broadmoor Hotel. We have seen it, however, on a few occasions. It’s a complete resort in Colorado Springs to this day, but this time we learned how to experience it like a local without actually committing to staying there for more than $500 per night.
At 1 Lake Avenue in the foothills that abut Colorado Springs, The Broadmoor Hotel is all about serving its guests during a complete resort experience. Most play one of its 2 golf courses and don’t leave after arriving for as long as they care to stay. The Broadmoor story began in 1918 with the dream of Spencer Penrose and his wife to develop a resort of unrivaled splendor at the foot of Pike’s Peak in this one-time total resort city. The sprawling Broadmoor still shows European flair in its overall design, and it still honors a kind of dress code in an era of few social rules. The Broadmoor is over 100 years old and does look it. However, The Broadmoor is still a place where some men and women arrive who call themselves Presidents or Royalty or at least CEOs.
The Broadmoor sponsors a couple of must-see travel experiences. It has links to Seven Falls, a venerable Colorado Springs attraction. The Broadmoor offers a free shuttle up to it daily. Visitors can walk the .8 mile path to the falls’ top or take a shuttle. The Broadmoor also redid and reopened the cog railroad to the top of Pike’s Peak in May of 2021. To ride it to the summit of this mountain seems pricy but is said to be worth it. Our son and his family moved to Denver this past year, and one day they decided to drive to the top of this peak. He told me that it was not worth it to drive because the road was one lane, difficult, and had no guard rails. I did this when I was much younger but not since and still remember the experience well. I want to take the restored cog railway to the new visitor center at this mountain’s top, but Ruth & I have not done this yet. It’s 8.9 miles from the station in Manitou Springs to the top and takes about 3 hours to achieve the summit. If the weather is good that day, expect the cog railroad to be sold out. If you simply walk up and buy a ticket, you will pay $59.50 for it as an adult. A child’s ticket will cost you $49.50. This is rumored to be quite worthwhile to do, and deals are available if you plan ahead. The other local attraction that the Broadmoor sponsors seems to be permanently closed. We tried but failed to see The Figure Skating Hall of Fame near The Broadmoor because it was closed that day. COVID appears to have kept it closed for some time, but the new Olympics Museum may have made it completely obsolete by covering its subject so well. I could be wrong, but I suspect that this museum will not reopen under the Broadmoor banner.
So what does one do to experience this resort without actually staying there? Locals, according to the lady at the downtown Colorado Springs Visitor Center, like to go there for drinks. They select a place to sit near the Broadmoor Lake on the mountain view terrace and order whatever they want. Ruth and I did this and had access to the stunning lobby with its fireplaces and comfortable seats and original artwork all around, the Portales Library, an elevator and stairs, and many shops. We did not feel in any way restricted and had free parking to do all of this. The only amenity we lacked was the one hour free use of a paddleboat given to hotel guests. Dress appropriately, of course.