The half and the have nots

By Nancy Clark

In 2011, nearly half (47%) of The Broadmoor’s guests hailed from Colorado. Odds are they have a memento from the sojourn tucked into a photo album or drawer. 

Rarely do I keep a stage play program even though print ad sales reps will tell ad buyers that playgoers will keep a program well beyond the evening’s entertainment, thus, they sell the idea that the ad placement will have multiple opportunities to be seen. I don’t have refrigerator magnets from various tourist stops in my life, not only because my refrigerator is stainless steel and won’t attract a magnet, but because I don’t like to faceoff with the paperwork behind the magnet being the first thing I see in the morning when I pour a glass of juice. I’m just not a keeper.

But I did preserve the menu from Thanksgiving Dinner 2012 at The Broadmoor’s Penrose Room. Even now as I review the ivory and maize menu, my mouth waters. From the Purple Baby Artichoke Raviolis to the Braised Lamb Shoulder with Za’atar Spice on toasted Farro risotto accompanied by a vegetable fricassee and lemon confit, each of the appetizers, entrees and desserts is enough to sound the caloric call of the festive holiday season.

Like one of those high-pitched sounds that only dogs can hear, my offer to offspring to set aside their personal holiday plans and join me at The Broadmoor was unanimously and resoundingly accepted.   

The plan was to kick off with dinner in the Penrose Room—honored in 2012 for the 36th consecutive year with the AAA ultimate five-diamond rating, one of only three properties nationwide carrying that status-boosting  award since 1976. To put it in perspective, only 0.3 percent of the 59,000 lodgings and restaurants nationwide approved by AAA earn the coveted five-diamond ranking. The Penrose Room is Colorado's only Forbes’ five-diamond eatery, a prestigious badge of honor carried for a remarkable five years.

The scope of options for free-time well spent are what made the trip down south of Denver ideal for family to confab. After closing out dinner with a Roasted Apple Napoleon of scented saffron caramel cream, walnut cake and Granny Smith granita, we broke for an hour and then reconnected in the hotel’s Center Lounge for sugar-rimmed cocktails and sales talk, as in holiday bargains. My son and his wife ended up calling the valet at 3 a.m. to dash to the local Sears where they scored a new washing machine and dryer.

“I can’t think of a sale that would prompt me to get out of this thread count in the middle of the night,” I took a stand. “We saved $600,” my son declared.  Okay, he won. I, on the other hand, tucked into pillows piled 4 deep to take in the in-room video “Hope Springs” starring Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones while feasting on gourmet cookies from the in-room service bar.

My daughter and boyfriend were first to the renowned Broadmoor brunch the next morning with the others of us hot on their heels. On average, our troops returned to the buffet 3 times over which prompted my comment as we women raced off to makeovers at The Cosmetic Shop at The Broadmoor: “Can they make me over to be thin?”

Post-glamour tx, we scored undeniably fabulous shoes for each of us at Yarid’s located on the doorstep of the hotel, and my cousin’s 4-year-old is likely wearing the Make-it-yourself Tiara Kit at this very moment that I found at The Broadmoor Children’s Shop. I can’t think of a more appropriate origination point for a gift for a wanna-be princess.

Round-the-clock holiday activities kick into really high gear the day after Thanksgiving, Cookie decorating for the young’uns, build a Broadmoor Bear, story time in the library, the Bee Brunch (the only requirement is that attendees be potty trained) and new in 2012, The Santa House with reindeers, pictures with Santa and real Christmas trees for sale are only the tip of kid activities. For adults, there’s silk scarf painting, culinary demos, holiday jewelry making, holiday portrait sessions, Build Your Own Gingerbread house for whole families PLUS cupcake decorating, family BINGO balloon twisting lessons, face painting and bounce houses. 

Our half got the memo. We’re making rezzies now for Thanksgiving 2013.

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