History

Hotel of Glenwood Springs History


Hotel Maxwell Anderson’s story is the story of Glenwood Springs itself. Our walls hold the history of immigrant struggles, prohibition, gangsters, two world wars, and a shooting or two. So while we may look modern, our past is as colorful as any hotel in this town. Looking for an icon among Glenwood Springs’ historic hotels? You’ve found it.

1880s

Rail Changes Glenwood

In 1885, Glenwood Springs sprung to life. By the turn of the century, the Kendrick Cottages—the site of the first-ever town council meetings—became elite tourist homes in a lovely wooded area near where the courthouse now stands. This historic location would soon neighbor Glenwood’s first train depot.

The railroad arrived in 1887, forever changing life in Glenwood Springs. The Denver and Rio Grande came from the east, and the Colorado Midland came from Aspen. As the tourist economy blossomed, the demand for lodging soared. The Kendrick Cottages—located on the corner opposite the new D&RG railroad station—continued to host travelers from near and far.

Following in his father’s footsteps, Art Kendrick began his hotel career hopping bells for the Hotel Glenwood in the late 1880s. The job involved answering calls from the ailing Doc Holliday, and Doc tipped him “pretty good.” At Hotel Glenwood, he also met his future wife, Mary who was working as a maid. As they say, the rest is history!

Rail Changes Glenwood

1888

Foundations

Foundations

In 1888, the world’s largest hot springs pool opened in the newly-minted town of Glenwood Springs. Renowned for its healing power and sought-after for its mountain location, the hot springs lured travelers from across the country. Rail traffic surged, calling for a new train station.

Catering to the elegant expectations of presidents and wealthy travelers, D&RG (Denver and Rio Grande Railroad) built a beautiful depot in 1904. Theodore von Rosenberg from Vienna designed the depot in the style of The Hot Springs Natatorium. The depot remains the star of Glenwood’s downtown skyline. 7th Street opposite the train station became a whirl of activity. Bars, restaurants, and stores sprung up in a hodgepodge. In the center of the block, Frank Walters built an impressive three-story brick building with a grocery on the first floor.

Art and Mary Kendrick, working as a bellhop and a maid at The Hotel Glenwood, saved for years, and in 1905, they rented the upper two stories. Art’s brother Frank also invested in the venture, but three eventually became a crowd. The Avalanche Echo reported the lease, opining that “everything bids fair to have a successful rooming house there.” They named the seventeen rooms The Denver Rooms (the beginning of The Hotel Denver Glenwood Springs history). Within four short years, the Kendricks purchased the entire property.

Foundations

Trains, Kendricks, and Boscos

During the early 1900s, the train was the heartbeat of Glenwood Springs and a significant piece of Colorado history. The train brought supplies, workers, and tourists into town, increasing the need for quality lodging. Where The Hotel Maxwell Anderson building now stands were four saloons, a restaurant, a grocery store, and two rooming houses.

Throughout the years, owners Art Kendrick and Henry Bosco expanded this hodgepodge into today’s elegant, modern hotel.

Trains, Kendricks, and Boscos

The Kendricks

The Kendricks

Art Kendrick, his wife Mary, and his brother Frank founded the original Hotel Maxwell Anderson, then called the Denver House or Denver Rooms. But they were once visitors to Glenwood Springs themselves.

Art Kendrick was a young boy in Illinois when General George Custer came through his hometown on his way west. That encounter inspired Art to move west himself. After the Chicago Fire devastated the Kendrick family (Frank was lost for two weeks in the mayhem), Art’s father, Thomas, moved the family to Leadville, Colorado. Thomas worked in Leadville’s Clarendon Hotel until 1885 when he moved to Glenwood Springs.

The Kendricks

The Boscos

Henry Bosco is another essential figure in Hotel Maxwell Anderson’s (formerly The Hotel Denver) history. In 1884, Henry arrived in New York from Italy with just thirty cents in his pocket. He made his way to Colorado shortly after.

By 1906, fourteen or more bars cropped up around the new Glenwood Springs train station. The enterprising Henry Bosco rented a room in the basement of the river-facing Oberto Saloon to sell wholesale liquor. Henry’s wholesale liquor operation did well, and in 1908, he was able to buy the Oberto Saloon building. He sold wholesale liquor in the basement, operated a saloon on the main floor, and rented out rooms on the second.

In 1908, 16-year-old Mike Bosco followed his uncle Henry to Glenwood Springs with only $5 to his name. Mike worked polishing stones at the mill in Marble. Like many immigrants, he didn’t know what he earned because his English was poor, and he was afraid that asking would get him fired. Mike collected discarded bottles and resold them, making more money from that enterprise than in the mill.

Using his earnings from discarded bottles, Mike opened a franchise, bottling a new soft drink called Coca-Cola. The ambitious young man also leased the rooms for rent from his Uncle Henry and managed the rooming house, taking a break to serve in World War I.

The Boscos

1910s

Expansion

Expansion

At the west end of the block, Art and Mary Kendrick expanded their successful lodging business into adjacent properties. In 1913, they completed an ambitious three-story remodel using brick. Henry Bosco also acquired two more lots and began building The Star Hotel, which opened in 1915. Prohibition started on the first day of 1916, and the bars on Riverfront, now renamed 7th Street, were in trouble. Art Kendrick finally bought the remaining lot to the west, and Bosco expanded to the east. Kendrick and Bosco may have been competitors, but they were also great friends.

In 1922, Art Kendrick completed the most ambitious expansion to date, adding telephone connections, toilets in each room, an elevator, and a marvelous lobby floor crafted from one-inch tiles. He also installed an exterior lighting scheme to rival the Denver Electric building. The building sparkled light a diamond in the night.

Expansion

1930s

Signs of the Times

The two hotels weathered the Great Depression. The Star Hotel provided a roof over the Bosco family, but little else. Mike Bosco supplemented his income by selling grapes to other Italian families for winemaking. Henry Bosco died in 1929 at age 72. Speakeasies and bootlegging started in earnest as soon as liquor was banned. Glenwood Springs drew the attention of Chicago gangster Diamond Jack Alterie, who liked to stay at The Hotel Maxwell Anderson.

Jack arrived in Western Colorado in 1929. He brought with him a police record including kidnapping, homicide, burglary, and more. He was never convicted. One day, Diamond Jack came out of the Hotel Denver guns a-blazing; to this day, no one knows why. A porter was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and a bullet grazed him along the temple. In another incident at The Hotel Maxwell Anderson in 1932, Jack shot two innocent salesmen through a closed hotel room door. One of the salesmen died as a result of the wound. A judge fined Jack $1250 and asked him to leave the state.

Clark Gable also enjoyed staying at The Hotel Maxwell Anderson in the 1930s and would spend a week fishing. It was quite an event for local ladies!

Signs of the Times

1940s

Two Become One

Two Become One

By 1938, Mary Kendrick wanted to leave the hotel business, so she talked Mike Bosco into borrowing the money to buy the Denver Hotel side of the block. The Hotel Denver again almost doubled in size. County records show a 5% note payable to Kendricks for $75,000, and $7000 payable to Mr. Peter Chuc. Art and Mary Kendrick were able to retire, confident that their life’s work was in good hands. Bosco chose to keep the Hotel Denver name.

During World War II the Navy commissioned the Hotel Colorado and Hot Springs Pool as a hospital for recovering veterans. Trainloads of ill and injured soldiers, medical personnel, and supportive families descended on Glenwood Springs. Camp Hale near Leadville was activated, and many of the military families stayed in Glenwood Springs. With this demand, The Hotel Denver prospered once again.

By 1948, Mike Bosco was able to modernize the old hotels, removing the cornice work and re-facing the old Star Hotel. Mike’s son, Hank Bosco, served in the war and took significant responsibility for the management of The Hotel Denver upon his return.

Two Become One

1970s – 1990s

The Disruption

After 58 years and three generations of family ownership, the Bosco family sold The Hotel Denver in 1973. The buyer was a corporation headed by Kirk Whiteley of Grand Junction. The corporation also operated the Hotel Colorado; they planned to combine marketing efforts and encourage convention business. Mike Bosco continued to live in the hotel, where he had lived for over 62 years until he died in 1974. In 1981, Janet Smith and Rhudy Fowler of San Diego purchased the Hotel Denver. Within two years, they began a $4 million renovation.

A 1983 Glenwood Post article reported that the hotel would change its name to Grande Hotel and begin a total renovation. The renovation would include a three-story office building and feature a three-story glass-walled atrium. The number of rooms decreased to 58, down from the all-time high of 100 rooms. The hotel closed for the first time in history during the renovation. The beautiful glass atrium and the south office building were completed. The name change did not happen. The Hotel Denver went into receivership and was foreclosed upon in 1991.

The Disruption

Y2K

Back to Roots

Back to Roots

That same year, local businessman Steve Carver rallied a group of locals to buy the Hotel Denver property as well as the neighboring Rex Hotel. Over the next few years, Steve and April Carver bought out other members of the group. The Hotel Denver was once again a family business.

Craft beer and local breweries were something of a new concept in 1996. Durango brewpub owners Jim and Bill Carver (not related) joined with Steve and April Carver to open Glenwood Canyon Brewing Company. The new brewpub was located in the old Star section of The Hotel Denver. “The Brewpub” became a local favorite and a prominent brewpub in the state. It also became the cornerstone of 7th Street redevelopment in future years and continues as a prominent draw to the area today.

Back to Roots

2015

100th Anniversary

In 2015, we celebrated the 100th Anniversary of the original Star Hotel and its rich history. When the train brought visitors, businessmen, and miners to a young town in 1915, the Hotel Denver provided much-needed lodging and services. The Hotel provided jobs when prohibition closed bars and the depression hit and provided lodging to loved ones of healing WWII servicemen. It continued to anchor the vital Seventh Street hub of activity, just as its founders the Kendricks and the Boscos would have wanted.
100th Anniversary

2024

A New Chapter

A New Chapter

In early 2024, the Hotel Denver underwent a remodel and received a fresh new name: Hotel Maxwell Anderson, named for a conductor who rode the rails when Glenwood Springs was still a tiny town.

Many people made the railroad through the Rockies what it was, but Maxwell Anderson became synonymous with the storied route passing through Glenwood Springs. For him, our mountain town always beckoned, no matter how many towns he visited or miles he traveled. His spirit lives on at Hotel Maxwell Anderson, inviting guests to walk in his adventurous footsteps that always found their way back to Glenwood Springs.

A New Chapter