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Feature Accommodations - The Rochester Hotel
Durango, Colorado

by Carl Burnham

Built in 1892, the Rochester Hotel combines the old West and the silver screen to make your stay both comfortable and memorable. The high ceilings and memorabilia add to the unique appeal.

Each of the fifteen rooms are air conditioned, nicely appointed with vintage furniture, and framed posters and stills of old West movies that were filmed around Durango. Our large room included a comfortable king-sized bed, with private bath and kitchen.

The interior was appointed with nice furniture including a handy writing table, corner mirrored wardrobe, a folding screen with Native American images, rocker chair, and rifle shaped lamp. Ours had framed photos of Clark Gable from his 1951 movie, Across the Wide Missouri, which was filmed just north of town. The movie also featured Maria Elena Marques and a young Ricardo Montalban as a Native American. In one scene that was included in the film, a stunt man suffered a broken neck. See below for some of the other films were made in the area that are highlighted along the hallways throughout the hotel. The kitchen includes a full-sized refrigerator, a microwave, coffee maker, and cooking utensils.

Along the hallways of the recently renovated hotel, old West movies are in marquee lights, with backgrounds provided of the stars and where the movies were filmed locally, giving a unique perspective to your stay in Durango. The films made include such greats, such as Jimmy Stewart, John Wayne, Clark Gable, Harry Carey, Debbie Reynolds, Richard WIdmark, Robert Redford, Paul Newman, James Garner, Henry Fonda, Gregory Peck, Lionel Barrymore, and many many more.

The number of films made around Durango is extensive, and have included The General, How the West Was Won, The Naked Spur, Around the World in Eighty Days, Support Your Local Gunfighter, The Cowboys, and City Slickers.

The movie, When the Legends Die (1972), which starred Richard Widmark, Tillman Box, and Frederick Forrest, included some scenes that were filmed in the hotel.

In the main office, the book, "Hollywood of the Rockies: The Spirit of the New Rochester Hotel" by Frederic B. Wildfang, is available that highlights the movies that have been made in and around Durango. You may order it free online by visiting here (only a small fee for postage/handling).

A complete gourmet breakfast is served downstairs in the lobby, which is included as part of your stay, featuring daily specials that include freshly made homemade muffins, coffee cakes, eggs, scones, and entrees of fruit and cereal or granola. You can enjoy your morning breakfast with coffee in the lobby, in the historic dining car attached to the hotel, or outside in the courtyard.

During the afternoons, fresh tea is available in the lobby, with a delicious selection of just made cookies (be sure to sample them all).

The Rochester Hotel makes the perfect base for exploring Durango, within easy walking distance from the train depot, main street, and fine dining.

We would like to thank the Rochester Hotel for making our stay in Durango for our features memorable. For reservations, email, call 1-800-664-1920, or visit them here.

Just across the street is The Leland House Bed & Breakfast, which the owners of the Rochester Hotel also own. Located in a fully restored former apartment building which was built in 1927, it also contains historic gems of the area. The Leland House is featured on the next page.

read more - The Leland House on Next Page

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