Grand Imperial Hotel
~ An American Original ~
Its amazing to hear in this day and time, but in 1883 this hotel was said to be the largest single standing structure south of the town of Denver. By today’s standards the hotel is still quite large, being three stories high and solidly made of granite. Unlike other hotels of its era, the lifespan of the Grand Imperial Hotel spanned the entire scope of time between then and now, through the silver crash at the end of the eighteen-hundreds, through the great depression of the 1930’s and through both world wars. Obviously, over the course of time there was need for repairs and renovations. The first of these came in 1951 and the second big renovation occurred in 2015. The end result is that the ‘Grand Lady of the San Juan’s’ is a distinctly vibrant and beautiful reminder of the grandeur and opulence of a time when silver was king and lives on as a testament to that era in the days of the wild west. Lucky for us, we are here to witness and enjoy the history of the hotel, but also enjoy it through the eye of its modern conveniences such as flat-screen TV’s, high speed internet and free WiFi.
When it first opened the Grand Imperial was literally the ‘center of the universe’ in this remote, outback corner of Colorado. Yes, of course it was there to serve guests in the 1880’s but it also became the building that housed the county courthouse, the post office, the bank, general store, doctors office and the town’s newspaper, the Silverton Standard.
In recent years, the ‘Grand’ as it is referred to by locals, has been fortunate to find itself in the capable hands of the Harper family who have enthusiastically spent their time, their talent and their financial resources in further restoring the hotel. From repairing and enhancing the structural components of the building to refurbishing all the windows, re-decoration of the rooms, replacing or enhancing the wood trim, paint, carpeting and installing entirely new bathrooms, the ‘Grand Hotel’ has been revived to its previous splendor. Come and enjoy a visit to the old silver mining town of Silverton in the gracious old hotel that is literally located right in the center of town.
Grand Imperial Hotel Accommodations
The Grand Restaurant and Saloon
Serving, lunch, dinner, cocktails, live music and a good time.
Grand Imperial Hotel. Silverton’s Wild West Hotel.
Durango, Colorado, was founded by the Denver & Rio Grande Railway (D&RGR) in 1879. The railroad arrived in Durango on August 5, 1881 and construction on the line to Silverton began in the fall of the same year.
More Information Relating to Silverton
The road did not cost more than a million dollars to build, but it did cost a huge sum for its time. It may contain some waste from early gold mills and silver mines, but nowhere near a million dollars worth. There’s also some mystery and dispute about the length of the Million Dollar Highway.
As new mining claims were discovered in the 1870s and the population of the San Juans mushroomed, so did the need for an economical, year-round transportation system. Most of the ore from mines discovered was not yet shipped out by the mid-1870s.
Heading south on Hwy 550 from Ridgway to Ouray, the panorama is full of summits and jagged ridges of the Uncompahgre Wilderness. The very pretty Victorian mountain town of Ouray, tucked beneath a dramatic granite amphitheater…