The original Broadmoor Casino 1892

The Broadmoor’s History

This historic and elegant resort based in Colorado Springs has provided an unparalleled service to guests for almost a century. Visitors to the hotel today are treated to endless opportunities to explore the picturesque mountains, canyons and streams nearby, whilst residing in luxury. Steeped in fascinating history, modern details blend effortlessly with the timeless elegance of this hotel, and it would be hard not to delve a little deeper into its past. So here is a little rundown of The Broadmoor’s development over the last 100 years.

The Broadmoor is located in the stunning mountain region of the south-western Broadmoor neighbourhood of Colorado Springs. The clean mountain air, endless space and beauty have drawn visitors to the area for many years; the air was even said to relieve symptoms of illnesses such as tuberculosis in the past. It was this that first drew Willie Wilcox, who came seeking his fortune and hoping to find a cure to his illness. Wilcox owned a dairy farm on the property, which he tried to operate with the help of a Prussian Count, James Pourtales, who had also come to the area to make money.

In 1880 Pourtales decided to give the farm an overhaul and create an upper-class suburb of Colorado Springs, with numerous amenities, including The Broadmoor Casino. Sadly Pourtales fell into financial trouble in 1890, and in 1909 (after the casino had burnt to the ground, and a second reopened) the hotel and casino were both sold and turned into a girls school.


© Kevin Syms

Fast forward to 1916 and along came Spencer Penrose; a man who envisioned a grand future for the Colorado Springs area. Having made a fortune in mining, Penrose purchased the old casino, hotel and adjoining 400 acres, with an aim to turn the region into the most unique resort area that could possibly be imagined.

Having stayed in many outstanding resorts across Europe and the Orient, he had experienced a level of luxury that he wanted to bring to America; a calibre of hospitality that didn’t exist there yet.  In May 1917 construction of the main complex for Penrose’s ‘new’ resort began by a team of skilled artisans, brought from all over Europe to create elaborate buildings, embellishments and paintings that would all later adopt the name from the original casino.

No detail was overlooked by Penrose, who even hired master golf-course architect, Donald Ross, to design the first 18-hole golf course in the resort.  Similarly, when it came to staff, Penrose developed an intensive training process for all employees, so they would provide a meticulous level of service for guests.


In the summer of 1918, the magnificent resort opened its doors; an entirely new complex with only the same name as before. From this moment, The Broadmoor we now know and love continued to grow into a hugely popular and successful destination – and under the direction of Spencer Penrose it was considered one of the first and finest of its kind. Penrose passed away in 1939, and in 1961 the Penrose Room, a fine dining restaurant, was opened at the resort in his honour.

Success continued over the decades in this luxurious resort, with the nineties seeing another flurry of rejuvenation, that brought a new golf course, tennis and spa facilities, a 12,000 sq. ft Rocky Mountain Ballroom, and an infinity swimming pool.

Today the resort still offers the epitome of service and luxury, and it has expanded into a 3,000 acre resort. There have only been six presidents and five executive chefs in its time, which we think is a true testament to the ‘quality of life’ at this breath-taking part of Colorado Springs.