Grand Lake Lodge – National Historic Landmark | TheFencePost.com

Grand Lake Lodge – National Historic Landmark

Anna Aughenbaugh
Fort Collins, Colo.

While taking our house guests on a tour of Rocky Mountain Park, we crossed over to the west side on Trail Ridge road to Grand Lake, Colo. The town sits at 8,369 feet and the view of Colorado’s largest natural lake is breathtaking even though the irregular oval is just one mile wide by one and a half miles long, it boasts a 4.1 mile shoreline. The cloudy sky and wind-blown white caps kept us from seeing the reflections in the famed great mirror we’d read of.

As the mist turned to sprinkles we found a refuge from the rain in the Grand Lake Lodge. Parked in front are some vintage cars that, if they could talk would tell of the guests they had carried up from Estes Park. The plaque designating the lodge as registered as a National Historic Landmark peaked my interest. Hurrying up the steps to get under the shelter of the porch roof, we stop to take in the view from what is known as “Colorado’s Favorite Front Porch.” The bright colors in the flower boxes chased away the gray of the day.

Stepping into the lobby with its large circular fireplace, peeled log posts and Rocky Mountain rustic stick furniture felt like we might see elegantly dressed visitors seated in the wicker rockers, just as when it was first opened with a Grand Ball on July 3, 1920.

When I told the delightful Mrs. Schmidt, behind the Front Desk, that I’m intrigued by historic places, she said she’d answer what questions she could, but Bob Scott, the longest employee of the lodge could tell me more, as could Mike Geary who wrote ‘A Quick History of Grand Lake.’ Bob Scott recalled a favorite memory of a day when he stepped out onto the porch at noon. An older automobile pulled into the parking lot; a fragile, elderly couple walked arm in arm up the stairs. They stopped to rest, and then holding hands, stepped inside, and exclaimed, “It even smells like it did!” Bob bought their lunch to celebrate their having honeymooned at the lodge in 1930.

I learned that the lodge had been closed from 2007 to 2010, due to the poor economy, but it was reopened in July with a staff of 120. All of the guest accommodations are in 56 private cabins nestled in the pines. The Ford Cabin, named for Henry Ford who stayed there in 1927 and the Elk Lodge are available for parties of 10 to 25. Guests can swim in the heated pool, hike nearby trails, or relax around the fireplace in the lodge, or on the porch.

Roe Emery, who was hailed as “the Father of Colorado Tourism,” had envisioned a Circle Tour of the central Colorado Rockies with his Rocky Mountain Transportation Company and hotels. When Trail Ridge Road, the ‘World’s Highest Continuous Paved Highway’ was completed in 1932, tourism dramatically increased and Grand Lake Lodge became one of the most famous resorts in Colorado.

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In 1952, at age 78 he retired and sold his company to T.J. Manning of Denver. Unable to acquire financing, he offered the company to Isaac B. and Ted L. James from Nebraska. They formed a corporation under the name Colorado Transportation Company and assumed control on January 1, 1953. The first year proved to be successful, so they exercised their option on one of the leases on two of the Emery properties that included the Trail Ridge Store and the Grand Lake Lodge, both of which were inside the park boundaries. Ted Jr. and his bride Sue took over managing the Trail Ridge store.

The NPS launched a campaign to remove private property from all national parks, by simply buying and razing them. The James brothers bought several private properties in the park and offered to exchange them for land around the lodge. The NPS reluctantly agreed to the land swap, but it took an act of Congress and President Kennedy’s signature to authorize the boundary adjustment. In January 1963, the swap became final.

In June 1963 Isaac took control of the bus operations and Ted took over the Lodge and other properties. The new swimming pool in front of the lodge proved popular with guests and employees. Hiring energetic college students to staff Trail Ridge store and the lodge for the summer season kept things lively and guests came from all over the world.

On July 19, 1973, an accidental fire broke out in the kitchen which closed the lodge for seven years. After about five years the James family decided to renovate the main building; the arduous job of re-peeling the charred, once beautiful hand-peeled logs supporting the structure, with a sharp draw knife began. The restored lobby and expensive upgrades of the cabins were ready to greet guests when the entire property re-opened in the summer of 1981.

Three generations of the James family were actively involved in the lodge. The restaurant offered three meals of quality cuisine, plus a Sunday Champaign Brunch. This beautiful place has made summer weddings and reunions special for many years. Guests returned from all over the U.S. and international countries, happy to return to an unchanged place, filled with memories.

Because of advancing years and health problems, the James’ decided to put the Lodge on the market. Dec. 21, 2010, Grand Lake Ventures, L.L.C. purchased this National Historic Landmark and hired Regency Hotel Management to manage all operations of the resort.

The Lodge will re-open in June, 2011 as a full-service resort. There will be fun for everyone, a children’s playground, basketball, volleyball, horseshoes, picnic area with charcoal grills, and an indoor recreation room. The 18 hole championship Grand Lake Golf Course is just 30 minutes away from the Lodge.

The new owners look forward to greeting former and new guests. Visitors can now make cabin and special event reservations be calling (855) 585-0004. Information is available online at http://www.grandlakelodge.com.

While taking our house guests on a tour of Rocky Mountain Park, we crossed over to the west side on Trail Ridge road to Grand Lake, Colo. The town sits at 8,369 feet and the view of Colorado’s largest natural lake is breathtaking even though the irregular oval is just one mile wide by one and a half miles long, it boasts a 4.1 mile shoreline. The cloudy sky and wind-blown white caps kept us from seeing the reflections in the famed great mirror we’d read of.

As the mist turned to sprinkles we found a refuge from the rain in the Grand Lake Lodge. Parked in front are some vintage cars that, if they could talk would tell of the guests they had carried up from Estes Park. The plaque designating the lodge as registered as a National Historic Landmark peaked my interest. Hurrying up the steps to get under the shelter of the porch roof, we stop to take in the view from what is known as “Colorado’s Favorite Front Porch.” The bright colors in the flower boxes chased away the gray of the day.

Stepping into the lobby with its large circular fireplace, peeled log posts and Rocky Mountain rustic stick furniture felt like we might see elegantly dressed visitors seated in the wicker rockers, just as when it was first opened with a Grand Ball on July 3, 1920.

When I told the delightful Mrs. Schmidt, behind the Front Desk, that I’m intrigued by historic places, she said she’d answer what questions she could, but Bob Scott, the longest employee of the lodge could tell me more, as could Mike Geary who wrote ‘A Quick History of Grand Lake.’ Bob Scott recalled a favorite memory of a day when he stepped out onto the porch at noon. An older automobile pulled into the parking lot; a fragile, elderly couple walked arm in arm up the stairs. They stopped to rest, and then holding hands, stepped inside, and exclaimed, “It even smells like it did!” Bob bought their lunch to celebrate their having honeymooned at the lodge in 1930.

I learned that the lodge had been closed from 2007 to 2010, due to the poor economy, but it was reopened in July with a staff of 120. All of the guest accommodations are in 56 private cabins nestled in the pines. The Ford Cabin, named for Henry Ford who stayed there in 1927 and the Elk Lodge are available for parties of 10 to 25. Guests can swim in the heated pool, hike nearby trails, or relax around the fireplace in the lodge, or on the porch.

Roe Emery, who was hailed as “the Father of Colorado Tourism,” had envisioned a Circle Tour of the central Colorado Rockies with his Rocky Mountain Transportation Company and hotels. When Trail Ridge Road, the ‘World’s Highest Continuous Paved Highway’ was completed in 1932, tourism dramatically increased and Grand Lake Lodge became one of the most famous resorts in Colorado.

In 1952, at age 78 he retired and sold his company to T.J. Manning of Denver. Unable to acquire financing, he offered the company to Isaac B. and Ted L. James from Nebraska. They formed a corporation under the name Colorado Transportation Company and assumed control on January 1, 1953. The first year proved to be successful, so they exercised their option on one of the leases on two of the Emery properties that included the Trail Ridge Store and the Grand Lake Lodge, both of which were inside the park boundaries. Ted Jr. and his bride Sue took over managing the Trail Ridge store.

The NPS launched a campaign to remove private property from all national parks, by simply buying and razing them. The James brothers bought several private properties in the park and offered to exchange them for land around the lodge. The NPS reluctantly agreed to the land swap, but it took an act of Congress and President Kennedy’s signature to authorize the boundary adjustment. In January 1963, the swap became final.

In June 1963 Isaac took control of the bus operations and Ted took over the Lodge and other properties. The new swimming pool in front of the lodge proved popular with guests and employees. Hiring energetic college students to staff Trail Ridge store and the lodge for the summer season kept things lively and guests came from all over the world.

On July 19, 1973, an accidental fire broke out in the kitchen which closed the lodge for seven years. After about five years the James family decided to renovate the main building; the arduous job of re-peeling the charred, once beautiful hand-peeled logs supporting the structure, with a sharp draw knife began. The restored lobby and expensive upgrades of the cabins were ready to greet guests when the entire property re-opened in the summer of 1981.

Three generations of the James family were actively involved in the lodge. The restaurant offered three meals of quality cuisine, plus a Sunday Champaign Brunch. This beautiful place has made summer weddings and reunions special for many years. Guests returned from all over the U.S. and international countries, happy to return to an unchanged place, filled with memories.

Because of advancing years and health problems, the James’ decided to put the Lodge on the market. Dec. 21, 2010, Grand Lake Ventures, L.L.C. purchased this National Historic Landmark and hired Regency Hotel Management to manage all operations of the resort.

The Lodge will re-open in June, 2011 as a full-service resort. There will be fun for everyone, a children’s playground, basketball, volleyball, horseshoes, picnic area with charcoal grills, and an indoor recreation room. The 18 hole championship Grand Lake Golf Course is just 30 minutes away from the Lodge.

The new owners look forward to greeting former and new guests. Visitors can now make cabin and special event reservations be calling (855) 585-0004. Information is available online at http://www.grandlakelodge.com.

While taking our house guests on a tour of Rocky Mountain Park, we crossed over to the west side on Trail Ridge road to Grand Lake, Colo. The town sits at 8,369 feet and the view of Colorado’s largest natural lake is breathtaking even though the irregular oval is just one mile wide by one and a half miles long, it boasts a 4.1 mile shoreline. The cloudy sky and wind-blown white caps kept us from seeing the reflections in the famed great mirror we’d read of.

As the mist turned to sprinkles we found a refuge from the rain in the Grand Lake Lodge. Parked in front are some vintage cars that, if they could talk would tell of the guests they had carried up from Estes Park. The plaque designating the lodge as registered as a National Historic Landmark peaked my interest. Hurrying up the steps to get under the shelter of the porch roof, we stop to take in the view from what is known as “Colorado’s Favorite Front Porch.” The bright colors in the flower boxes chased away the gray of the day.

Stepping into the lobby with its large circular fireplace, peeled log posts and Rocky Mountain rustic stick furniture felt like we might see elegantly dressed visitors seated in the wicker rockers, just as when it was first opened with a Grand Ball on July 3, 1920.

When I told the delightful Mrs. Schmidt, behind the Front Desk, that I’m intrigued by historic places, she said she’d answer what questions she could, but Bob Scott, the longest employee of the lodge could tell me more, as could Mike Geary who wrote ‘A Quick History of Grand Lake.’ Bob Scott recalled a favorite memory of a day when he stepped out onto the porch at noon. An older automobile pulled into the parking lot; a fragile, elderly couple walked arm in arm up the stairs. They stopped to rest, and then holding hands, stepped inside, and exclaimed, “It even smells like it did!” Bob bought their lunch to celebrate their having honeymooned at the lodge in 1930.

I learned that the lodge had been closed from 2007 to 2010, due to the poor economy, but it was reopened in July with a staff of 120. All of the guest accommodations are in 56 private cabins nestled in the pines. The Ford Cabin, named for Henry Ford who stayed there in 1927 and the Elk Lodge are available for parties of 10 to 25. Guests can swim in the heated pool, hike nearby trails, or relax around the fireplace in the lodge, or on the porch.

Roe Emery, who was hailed as “the Father of Colorado Tourism,” had envisioned a Circle Tour of the central Colorado Rockies with his Rocky Mountain Transportation Company and hotels. When Trail Ridge Road, the ‘World’s Highest Continuous Paved Highway’ was completed in 1932, tourism dramatically increased and Grand Lake Lodge became one of the most famous resorts in Colorado.

In 1952, at age 78 he retired and sold his company to T.J. Manning of Denver. Unable to acquire financing, he offered the company to Isaac B. and Ted L. James from Nebraska. They formed a corporation under the name Colorado Transportation Company and assumed control on January 1, 1953. The first year proved to be successful, so they exercised their option on one of the leases on two of the Emery properties that included the Trail Ridge Store and the Grand Lake Lodge, both of which were inside the park boundaries. Ted Jr. and his bride Sue took over managing the Trail Ridge store.

The NPS launched a campaign to remove private property from all national parks, by simply buying and razing them. The James brothers bought several private properties in the park and offered to exchange them for land around the lodge. The NPS reluctantly agreed to the land swap, but it took an act of Congress and President Kennedy’s signature to authorize the boundary adjustment. In January 1963, the swap became final.

In June 1963 Isaac took control of the bus operations and Ted took over the Lodge and other properties. The new swimming pool in front of the lodge proved popular with guests and employees. Hiring energetic college students to staff Trail Ridge store and the lodge for the summer season kept things lively and guests came from all over the world.

On July 19, 1973, an accidental fire broke out in the kitchen which closed the lodge for seven years. After about five years the James family decided to renovate the main building; the arduous job of re-peeling the charred, once beautiful hand-peeled logs supporting the structure, with a sharp draw knife began. The restored lobby and expensive upgrades of the cabins were ready to greet guests when the entire property re-opened in the summer of 1981.

Three generations of the James family were actively involved in the lodge. The restaurant offered three meals of quality cuisine, plus a Sunday Champaign Brunch. This beautiful place has made summer weddings and reunions special for many years. Guests returned from all over the U.S. and international countries, happy to return to an unchanged place, filled with memories.

Because of advancing years and health problems, the James’ decided to put the Lodge on the market. Dec. 21, 2010, Grand Lake Ventures, L.L.C. purchased this National Historic Landmark and hired Regency Hotel Management to manage all operations of the resort.

The Lodge will re-open in June, 2011 as a full-service resort. There will be fun for everyone, a children’s playground, basketball, volleyball, horseshoes, picnic area with charcoal grills, and an indoor recreation room. The 18 hole championship Grand Lake Golf Course is just 30 minutes away from the Lodge.

The new owners look forward to greeting former and new guests. Visitors can now make cabin and special event reservations be calling (855) 585-0004. Information is available online at http://www.grandlakelodge.com.

While taking our house guests on a tour of Rocky Mountain Park, we crossed over to the west side on Trail Ridge road to Grand Lake, Colo. The town sits at 8,369 feet and the view of Colorado’s largest natural lake is breathtaking even though the irregular oval is just one mile wide by one and a half miles long, it boasts a 4.1 mile shoreline. The cloudy sky and wind-blown white caps kept us from seeing the reflections in the famed great mirror we’d read of.

As the mist turned to sprinkles we found a refuge from the rain in the Grand Lake Lodge. Parked in front are some vintage cars that, if they could talk would tell of the guests they had carried up from Estes Park. The plaque designating the lodge as registered as a National Historic Landmark peaked my interest. Hurrying up the steps to get under the shelter of the porch roof, we stop to take in the view from what is known as “Colorado’s Favorite Front Porch.” The bright colors in the flower boxes chased away the gray of the day.

Stepping into the lobby with its large circular fireplace, peeled log posts and Rocky Mountain rustic stick furniture felt like we might see elegantly dressed visitors seated in the wicker rockers, just as when it was first opened with a Grand Ball on July 3, 1920.

When I told the delightful Mrs. Schmidt, behind the Front Desk, that I’m intrigued by historic places, she said she’d answer what questions she could, but Bob Scott, the longest employee of the lodge could tell me more, as could Mike Geary who wrote ‘A Quick History of Grand Lake.’ Bob Scott recalled a favorite memory of a day when he stepped out onto the porch at noon. An older automobile pulled into the parking lot; a fragile, elderly couple walked arm in arm up the stairs. They stopped to rest, and then holding hands, stepped inside, and exclaimed, “It even smells like it did!” Bob bought their lunch to celebrate their having honeymooned at the lodge in 1930.

I learned that the lodge had been closed from 2007 to 2010, due to the poor economy, but it was reopened in July with a staff of 120. All of the guest accommodations are in 56 private cabins nestled in the pines. The Ford Cabin, named for Henry Ford who stayed there in 1927 and the Elk Lodge are available for parties of 10 to 25. Guests can swim in the heated pool, hike nearby trails, or relax around the fireplace in the lodge, or on the porch.

Roe Emery, who was hailed as “the Father of Colorado Tourism,” had envisioned a Circle Tour of the central Colorado Rockies with his Rocky Mountain Transportation Company and hotels. When Trail Ridge Road, the ‘World’s Highest Continuous Paved Highway’ was completed in 1932, tourism dramatically increased and Grand Lake Lodge became one of the most famous resorts in Colorado.

In 1952, at age 78 he retired and sold his company to T.J. Manning of Denver. Unable to acquire financing, he offered the company to Isaac B. and Ted L. James from Nebraska. They formed a corporation under the name Colorado Transportation Company and assumed control on January 1, 1953. The first year proved to be successful, so they exercised their option on one of the leases on two of the Emery properties that included the Trail Ridge Store and the Grand Lake Lodge, both of which were inside the park boundaries. Ted Jr. and his bride Sue took over managing the Trail Ridge store.

The NPS launched a campaign to remove private property from all national parks, by simply buying and razing them. The James brothers bought several private properties in the park and offered to exchange them for land around the lodge. The NPS reluctantly agreed to the land swap, but it took an act of Congress and President Kennedy’s signature to authorize the boundary adjustment. In January 1963, the swap became final.

In June 1963 Isaac took control of the bus operations and Ted took over the Lodge and other properties. The new swimming pool in front of the lodge proved popular with guests and employees. Hiring energetic college students to staff Trail Ridge store and the lodge for the summer season kept things lively and guests came from all over the world.

On July 19, 1973, an accidental fire broke out in the kitchen which closed the lodge for seven years. After about five years the James family decided to renovate the main building; the arduous job of re-peeling the charred, once beautiful hand-peeled logs supporting the structure, with a sharp draw knife began. The restored lobby and expensive upgrades of the cabins were ready to greet guests when the entire property re-opened in the summer of 1981.

Three generations of the James family were actively involved in the lodge. The restaurant offered three meals of quality cuisine, plus a Sunday Champaign Brunch. This beautiful place has made summer weddings and reunions special for many years. Guests returned from all over the U.S. and international countries, happy to return to an unchanged place, filled with memories.

Because of advancing years and health problems, the James’ decided to put the Lodge on the market. Dec. 21, 2010, Grand Lake Ventures, L.L.C. purchased this National Historic Landmark and hired Regency Hotel Management to manage all operations of the resort.

The Lodge will re-open in June, 2011 as a full-service resort. There will be fun for everyone, a children’s playground, basketball, volleyball, horseshoes, picnic area with charcoal grills, and an indoor recreation room. The 18 hole championship Grand Lake Golf Course is just 30 minutes away from the Lodge.

The new owners look forward to greeting former and new guests. Visitors can now make cabin and special event reservations be calling (855) 585-0004. Information is available online at http://www.grandlakelodge.com.