Basalt History Tour
The Railroad Hotel
Constructed in 1896 to Service the Growing Needs of BasaltAnother landmark, the Colorado Midland Hotel was constructed in 1896 to service the growing needs of Basalt. Originally owned by Dr. Thompson and Mr. Bear (no kidding), the hotel had ten sleeping rooms on the top floor and a dining hall and saloon on the lower level. Rumor has it that ladies of the night could often be seen, as the saloon below provided ample customers.
In 1907, as rail traffic dwindled, hotel use slowed, and later the building was used as a Civilian Conservation Corps camp, as the Frontier Lodge, and even turned into a hospital for a short period.Throughout the quiet years the hotel had many owners and uses, but in 1965, as the upper valley ski areas began to generate more economic growth, the Hotel was returned to a restaurant with upstairs apartments. Since that day, the Hotel has held that use. Occupied as DiMaggio’s, the Frying Pan Inn, Primavera and Tempranillo Restaurant, the Hotel has carried on as the center of Basalt’s core of dining and hospitality. Although the interior has been remodeled several times, the exterior remains much the same as that built by Dr. Thompson and Mr. Bear.
Note the change in the cottonwoods from 1919 to 1939 to what is in front of you today.