…where golfing meets the ideal resort.

Story & Photos by: Ed Stone 

"Generation of travelers from all over the globe have come here to have the times of their lives in this unique setting."
Steve Bartolin, Jr.

Playing golf and enjoying impeccable service at The BROADMOOR is one great memorable experience.

If your desire is to visit the longest-running consecutive winner of both the AAA Five-Diamond and the Mobil Travel Guide Five-Star awards, then you only have one choice… The BROADMOOR Hotel in Colorado Springs, Colorado. If you want to play three of the most challenging golf courses designed by some of the most respected golf course architects, Donald Ross, Robert Trent Jones, Sr., Arnold Palmer, Ed Seay and Jack Nicklaus, then you should visit The BROADMOOR.

The BROADMOOR Hotel is steeped in history and long on tradition when it comes to golf and hospitality.  In 2008, the U.S. Senior Open was played on the East Course and the U.S. Women’s Open will be held on this course July 7-10, 2011.  No matter which course you choose to play, the greens will be the most challenging you will ever play.  The original owners and developers of The BROADMOOR, Spencer and Julie Penrose are buried in a mausoleum on Cheyenne Mountain overlooking the three courses.  There, a carillon plays every 30 minutes…believe me; you will hear it over, and over and over as you play the courses.  Just remember no matter how you read the greens…the slope will always…I mean always, break away from the mountain, the mausoleum and the carillon.

Spencer and Julie Penrose are buried in a mausoleum on Cheyenne Mountain overlooking the three courses.

In 1918, when The BROADMOOR opened, the 18-hole Donald Ross designed golf course also added to the status of the resort property.  Ross then being 46 years of age would have been in the peak of his popularity and had gained much notoriety at this time.  After all, during Ross’ career, he designed some 407 courses.  The BROADMOOR course would be another gold star on his resume.

The number nine, par 3, 175 yds from white tees of the West Course.

Another famous golf course designer, Robert Trent Jones, Sr. was hired by the resort in 1948 to draw plans for a new nine holes.  In 1952, the new nine was open for play.  He was brought back to design another nine in 1963 and the new holes were opened in 1964.  Today, both the East and West Courses use a combination of these two golf course designers’ layouts.  The East Course’s holes 1 through 6 and 16 through 18 are from the Donald Ross design while holes 7 through 15 are designed by Robert Trent Jones.

The current West Course is configured with holes 1 through 6 and 15 through 18 of the Donald Ross design while Robert Trent Jones, Sr. lays claim to holes 7 through 14. 

Currently, the West course is undergoing renovation and will be completed in three phases over the next year during the winter months. Highlights includes rebuilding all the existing bunkers, adding new bunkers and mounding, rebuilding all the teeing areas, and restoring a small creek that intersected several holes on the original Ross layout.  Ron Forse of Forse Design, Inc., a Donald Ross golf course restoration expert, is in charge of this project to bring it back to its original design.

The city of Colorado Springs can be seen from many of the holes of the West Course

Arnold Palmer and Ed Seay were hired in the early 1970’s to create and design the Mountain Course.  It opened in 1976 with rave reviews and brought the number of holes to 54 at The BROADMOOR.  In July 2006, the Mountain Course reopened after undergoing a redesign by the Jack Nicklaus group.

The BROADMOOR Hotel is steeped in history and long on tradition

Spencer and Julie Penrose first opened The BROADMOOR in June 1918 with 350 rooms and an 18-hole golf course designed by Donald Ross.  Penrose was an entrepreneur and promoter…he also had money to build a world class resort.  In 1920, Penrose invited sixty prominent East Coast hotel owners to visit The BROADMOOR for an all-expense paid two-week vacation.

A black & white photo hangs in The Hotel Bar of the 45 men who attended "The Hundred Million Dollar Hotel Group" at The Broadmoor in September 1920.

It was then called “The Hundred Million Dollar Hotel Group.”  Some 45 men attended the event.  They held bi-plane and Pierce-Arrow races, polo matches and dinner-dances…even though there were only men in the group (maybe they imported some local talent?).  This became the first meeting of a group known today as The Tavern Club of New York.  Membership is by invitation only, for life and can be revolked at the request of only ONE member.  Only the top resort owners and operators are included.  As one enters the Hotel Bar of The BROADMOOR, there are photos showing the attendees of the first meeting.  By the way, don’t try to Google this group…there is nothing for the first ten pages…now that’s clout.

This painting represents the first meeting of The Tavern Club of New York in 1921.  It hangs in The Hotel Bar of The Broadmoor.

Another interesting painting hangs in The Hotel Bar representing the first meeting of The Tavern Club of New York in 1921.  It includes the likeness of those attending.  However, several of the individuals shown are current day “best friends” of The BROADMOOR’s general manager, Steve Bartolin.  He’s included his dad who was a major influence on his education and career.  Although the elder Bartolin is dressed in a tuxedo, young Bartolin is quick to tell you that his father never wore a pinguin suit.  You will find the likeness of his former boss at Opryland Hotel, Jack Vaughn and Oscar of the Waldorf (for whom the popular New York restaurant is named), along with many others.

The Penrose’s created the El Pomar Foundation in 1937 to provide grants to encourage and promote the current and future well being of the people of Colorado.  Later The BROADMOOR was brought under this foundation. 

One of the hallways at The Broadmoor

The public space at The Broadmoor is created for comfort for the guests.

The BROADMOOR property has only changed ownership one time.  In 1988, the Oklahoma Publishing Company (OPUBCO) purchased controlling interest from the El Pomar Foundation.  By 2004, OPUBCO purchased the remaining interest to become a sole proprietorship. When OPUBCO made the initial purchase of the property, Edward L. Gaylord then president and CEO was proud to state that he and his wife Thelma spent their honeymoon at The BROADMOOR.
He jokingly said he had told his wife on their wedding night he would someday buy the place for her…and in 1988, he did.

Today, this beautiful hospitality icon is situated on 3,000 acres.  There are 593 hotel rooms, 107 suites and coming in May of 2009, there will be 44 cottage bedrooms.  For the meeting planner and conference attendee, The BROADMOOR offers 185,000 sq. ft. of meeting space with 60 meeting rooms.  For your spa and fitness pleasure, there is a 43,000 square foot full-service spa and fitness center with hair and nail salon featuring luxurious, exotic and essential experiences for the body, mind and spirit.

Aside from golf, there are six tennis courts and two clay courts being built and unveiled for play in May 2009.  For winter play, there are two covered tennis courts.

At the primary pool, guests enjoy seasonal waterslides and a children’s pool.

The BROADMOOR offers three swimming pools: one outdoor, one indoor and one heated lap pool with three outdoor hot tubs, including one year-round and two seasonal tubs.  At the primary pool, guests enjoy seasonal waterslides and a children’s pool.

Every appetite and libation is satisfied at one of the 18 restaurants, cafes and lounges, plus 24-hour room service is available.  The primary shopping area is just off the main lobby of the hotel where 25 specialty, boutique and retail shops can be found.

Not found in most resorts, but yes, at The BROADMOOR is a first-run movie theater, just off the main lobby of the hotel.

The BROADMOOR can stand tall with the best when it comes to famous people and celebrities.

Many world-famous resorts celebrate the visits of notables to their properties.  The BROADMOOR can stand tall with the best when it comes to famous people and celebrities.
Nine United States’ Presidents Herbert Hoover, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush have all stayed at The Broadmoor.  Foreign dignitaries include King Hussein of Jordan, Princess Anne, Prime Minister Toshiki Kaifu of Japan, the King of Siam and Margaret Thatcher.  To name a few of the entertainment celebs, John Wayne, Maurice Chevalier, Bing Crosby, Walt Disney, Charles Lindbergh, Clark Gable, Bob Hope, Jimmy Stewart, Jack Benny, Jackie Gleason, Roberta Flack, Sir Elton John, Jay Leno, plus many, many more.

As a testimonial to the strength in management and dedication of service to its guests, The BROADMOOR has only had six Presidents and four Executive Chefs in it 90-plus year history.  This is an almost unheard of in today’s world of hospitality business.

Steve Bartolin CEO, President and General Manager of The BROADMOOR.

Steve Bartolin is the current CEO, President and General Manager of The BROADMOOR.  He earned a bachelor’s degree in business from Youngstown State University in Youngstown, Ohio.  In 1975, he joined The Greenbrier (White Sulphur Springs, WVA) where he held management positions in golf operations, front office, reservations, food and beverage and conference services and sales.  In 1980, he moved to Nashville and became director of convention services at the Opryland Hotel.  Five years later, he was promoted to resident manager of the 3,000-room property.   Steve returned to The Greenbrier as general manager in 1987.  Three years later, in July 1991, Bartolin settled in at The BROADMOOR as president and general manager to be named CEO in 2002.  (Click here for more on Steve Bartolin, Jr.)

Joe Lueras is the epitimy of a great service oriented individual.

One of the longest tenured employees at The BROADMOOR is Joe Lueras.  After graduating from high school, he spent two years in the army, then a couple of years as a busboy and cook at Walgreens.  The joined the staff as a bellman in July 1968 and has never considered or looked for another job since.  Joe is the epitimy of a great service oriented individual.  Smiling broadly, he states that meeting people and seeing the guests have a wonderful experience is his goal in life.  He has checked in all the visiting Presidents to The BROADMOOR beginning with President Nixon in 1968.  Other celebrities and dignataries include Bob Hope, Sir Elton John, Jay Leno and many others.

To most avid golfers, there is a certain degree of accomplishment when a famous or well recognized course is played…be it a great score or just a good score.  Playing all three or either of the courses at The BROADMOOR is an accomplishment for any golfer.  Even if you don’t play golf, this is one of those experiences you must enjoy during your lifetime.  BROADMOOR staffers like Steve and Joe will make sure your visit is a memoriable one.

1 Lake Avenue
Colorado Springs, Colorado 80906
Hotel Reservations: 719-577-5775 or 866-837-9520
Reservations Fax Number: 719-577-5738
Group Sales Phone Number: 719-577-5777 or 800-633-7711
Group Sales Fax Number: 719-577-5779