Five Star Camping

The Broadmoor pitches quite the tent in the clouds.

Five Star Camping

Every 97 year old grande dame should have a benefactor like Philip Anschutz. In the four years since buying The Broadmoor resort in Colorado Springs, the billionaire investor has put more than $112 million into the five-star, five diamond property ranked by Golf magazine as the top golf resort in North America.

The Broadmoor’s magnificence, of course, is about more than its 54 fairways and greens. On Anschutz’s watch, the Golden Bee pub has doubled in size and the hotel’s West Building now stands three floors higher, with 31 new rooms, three new restaurants (the frolicsome PLAY, casual Natural Epicurean and stellar Ristorante del Lago) and an exterior that mirrors that of the stately Main Building across the lake.

And true to the pioneering spirit that persistently drove Broadmoor founder Spencer Penrose to explore new ways of sharing the natural wonders of the Pikes Peak region, the current owner has expanded The Broadmoor well beyond the pink-stucco structures at the base of Cheyenne Mountain.

Created by Penrose, both the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and Cog Railway (which climbs from Manitou Springs to the 14,115-foot summit of Pikes Peak and back in about three hours) once again belong to The Broadmoor. And The Broadmoor Seven Falls, the series of cascades tumbling in a 1,400-foot-wall box canyon, is reopening this year with an all-new restaurant.

The biggest expansion, however, is the Broadmoor’s Wilderness Experience, which comprises three distinct locations— Fly-Fishing Camp (on five private miles of the Tarryall River), The Ranch at Emerald Valley (deep within the lush 100,000-acre Pike National Forest) and Cloud Camp (atop Cheyenne Mountain). Each bristles with rustically elegant lodging, bountiful amenities, exquisite dining and a raft of outdoor activities.

Of the three, Cloud Camp, which opened last fall, literally elevates the Broadmoor to another realm, more than 3,000 feet above the resort and 9,200 feet above sea level. Depending on your style, an Escalade, mule or hiking shoes takes you up Cheyenne Mountain Highway, past the zoo and the Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun, the final resting place of Spencer and Julie Penrose.

Penrose not only built the road and roadside attractions but also the original Cheyenne Mountain Lodge where Cloud Camp’s 8,000-square-foot main lodge now alights. Highlighted by hand-hewn beams, indigenous stone fireplaces and historic artifacts, the great room and bar area leads to an expansive wrap-around deck offering unobstructed views of Pikes Peak, the surrounding forest, the city below and the plains beyond.

The lodge features six richly furnished guest rooms, an adjacent “honeymoon cabin” as well as 11 one- and two-bedroom cabins. All afford spectacular mountain views and access to hiking, biking, fishing and more. Mouthwatering meals prepared by Broadmoor chefs in the lodge’s great room are included in the price. So are the fleecy clouds that surround you before morning yoga and the campfires and cookouts that close the day as the lights from The Broadmoor and Colorado Springs twinkle like the stars above.

As The Broadmoor approaches its 100th birthday, it’s safe to say the spirit of Spencer Penrose—whom Anschutz profiles, along with 49 other early Western business leaders, in his book Where the West Begins—is shining too.

RELATED LINKS:

Colorado Private Club Guide: Southern Region

A Q&A With Jack Nicklaus

The Broadmoor Golf Club to Host 2018 U.S. Senior Open Championship

Colorado AvidGolfer is the state’s leading resource for golf and the lifestyle that surrounds it. It publishes eight issues annually and proudly delivers daily content via www.coloradoavidgolfer.com.

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