Stanley Hotel

Stanley Hotel in Estes Park
The Stanley Hotel was built by the co-inventor of the Stanley Steamer automobile. | Photo by prettywar-stl / flickr

Staff writer

The Stanley Hotel, a historic landmark visible from all over town, was built by the co-inventor of the Stanley Steamer and inspired the setting of Stephen King’s novel “The Shining.”

King relocated the novel to the “Overlook Hotel” after he visited Estes Park while living in Boulder. Originally, the book was set in an amusement park.

The hotel was built in 1909 by F. O. Stanley, who with his brother invented the Stanley Steamer. Stanley came to the West looking for relief from tuberculosis and felt so good while staying at a cabin in Estes Park that he stayed and constructed the hotel on the edge of what would become Rocky Mountain National Park.

The hotel was built in the Georgian style out of wood and rock from the nearby mountains. It was equipped with running water, electricity and telephones, but it did not originally have heat because it was designed as a summer resort. Heating was added later.

Interest in the hotel has brought tourists to Estes Park for years. Stanley began mountain bus trips in his steam-powered cars up the Big Thompson Canyon east of the city.

The hotel remains open to guests, with 138 rooms and some of its original elegance. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a member of Historic Hotels of America.

Stanley Hotel
333 E. Wonderview Ave.
Estes Park CO 80517
(970) 586-3371
(800) 976-1377