GENERATIONS AT THE BROADMOOR

By Nancy Clark

From the perspective of a toddler, everything wondrous to be seen at The Broadmoor means looking up. The topper over the Mezzanine Lobby, with its red and green glass embellishments is jaw-dropping. But so is the Mezzanine Christmas tree wrapped every inch in red and gold ornaments towering some 15 feet into the air, one of dozens and dozens throughout the hotel buildings. A hot cocoa station stands guard over a life-size gingerbread house with a gumdrop mailbox where little ones can peek inside to see Santa. Kids that were up early this particular Saturday morning had the pleasure of breakfast with Old St. Nick. Families brave the sub-zero El Niño cold front at nightfall to witness the 30th Annual White Lights ceremony, the official flip of the switch of the resort’s holiday lights.

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From the perspective of an adult, everything about the Broadmoor that’s magnificent is within reach. The doormen make it obvious from the moment you advance up the hotel’s front drive. The desk clerks reinforce the message as they check you in. The bellmen and wait staff reiterate it at each encounter—in passing in the hall, when calling room service or with the nightly turn-down service.

The most significant denominator of the meaning of “within reach” is the fact that The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs is so near to Denver that metro residents can escape to its sanctuary readily. Rated Five-Star (for 54 years in 2014), The Broadmoor is also ranked as an AAA Five Diamond (38 years in 2014) and named to Condé Nast Traveler Gold List plus dozens of other enviable recognition.

Our family has one rule about our sojourns to The Broadmoor: never miss a Sunday Brunch. The king of all brunches anywhere in this world has satisfied four generations of our DNA. Pace yourself is the second rule. Families and extended families with young and restless kiddos are appropriately seated in the corner of the Lake Terrace Dining Room with high chairs and white linen groundcover to catch the falling breakfast remains. For grandparents and parents alike, the 30,000-foot view of this dining room scene is as much about the future as it is the Benedict. It’s not the kind of place just any kid gets to dine. That also explains the dress code among this pre-school set—comfortable, yet pure fibers; classic and yes, that 4-year-old is wearing a chic fur collar.

Since acquiring the property in 2011, Colorado’s second richest citizen, the very private Philip Anchutz, has invested more than $112 million in the property. Visits to the hotel since then have been measured in improvements to the facility and processes. Most appreciated (by me) is the thorough and detailed printed holiday schedule for the Thanksgiving weekend—each day and every hour is listed with options for a multi-generational family convening here. It reiterates how much more there is to see and do on a next return adventure.

The new jewel in The Broadmoor fine dining crown opened this past summer. Restaurant 1858, at the base of Cheyenne Canyon, wrapped in steep granite walls, is just 5 minutes from the hotel itself. Only authorized hotel vans are allowed access to the majestic 181-foot waterfall, the only geographical stop statewide to have been named to National Geographic’s list of International Waterfalls. Appropriately, the menu features Colorado trout prepared eight ways, a mainstay of early pioneers along with game meats prepared the French, Creole and German ways of first-comers to the area in the 1858 Gold Rush.

Dinners especially take me back to my earliest visits to The Broadmoor. Dad’s business was insurance and the insurance industry has maintained a decades-long love affair with golf at The Broadmoor. Golf Magazine named the hotel the No. 1 golf resort in North America in 2015. While the courses are flush with geese this wintery day, I recall dad in his tux and mom in her finest floor-length gown headed out to a 1960’s industry cocktail party and dinner dance, while the four of us daughters snuggled into our comfy Broadmoor beds exhausted from a day at the pool.

Without question, a one-night stay regroups a nuclear family, two-nights allows the space to laugh out loud at a shared new experience, and three days or more, well, the memories carry forward generations.

Five decades later, my son and daughter-in-law, my daughter and her husband toast the getaway and watch my grandson Otto drop to the floor content to greet two guest pups on leashes (canines are welcome guests at the hotel.) Eavesdropping on kid giggles is an honor bestowed on vacationing parents. On this spot Otto’s great grandparents danced the night away. They are looking down and laughing too.

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