By Ashley Gann
For the Courant
A living piece of history, Empire’s iconic Peck House Hotel and Restaurant celebrated its 150th anniversary on May 3 with the distinction of being the oldest continually operating hotel in Colorado.
The anniversary celebration of the historic business, which began operating in 1862, allowed guests to tour the elegant rooms, which are largely decorated in the original furnishings from the time that James and Mary Grace Peck owned the hotel.
Included was a display of the signatures of some of the hotelís more prestigious patrons, including Ulysses S. Grant, the 18th U.S. president, and P.T. Barnum, founder of the Barnum & Bailey Circus. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Sally and Gary St. Clair have owned the Peck House for the last 31 years. Sally said she was first attracted to the hotel while on her honeymoon.
“We came here on our honeymoon, and with our blended family, we kept coming back as guests,” Sally said. “Within nine months, it came up for sale and we bought it, and weíve been here most of our married life.”
The St. Clairs have restored some of the original furnishings to the Peck House and share their love for its history with guests.
“It really is one of a kind,” Sally said. “We just really want to share it.”
The hotel retains a museum-like feel, a testament to its 150 years in service. The reception area is decorated with original historical documents and photographs, some dating to when the granddaughters of Adolph Coors owned it, and others going back as far as the Peck family.