the late 1800’s the City of Cheyenne,
was called "The Magic City of the Plains,” so it was only appropriate
when a luxurious hotel opened in 1911, it called itself the "Plains
The concept of the elegant hotel was born at the annual $1 dinner of
the Industrial Club (now the Chamber of Commerce) in December, 1909.
In the midst of
the meeting, Thomas Heaney, club President, interrupted the other
discussions to give his opinion that
was badly in need of a new and modern hotel. At the time, the
main hotel in town was one called the Inter-Ocean which, over time had
become outdated and had taken on the more of a role as the city’s
principal watering hole.
Though Heaney had
said this in a somewhat joking fashion, the other men agreed and by
February of the following year, the Cheyenne Securities Company was
organized for the purpose of building a new hotel. Moving
quickly, the hotel was designed by architect William Duboise and in
March, a contract was awarded to build it. Construction started
in June, 1910 and in March, 1911 it was completed at a costs of about
$250,000, including furnishings.
On March 9, 1911,
the hotel hosted an elaborate grand opening that was attended by men
in full evening dress, gallant Army Officers and a host of elegantly
gowned ladies. As a band played until the wee hours of the
morning, the guests danced and admired the magnificent appointments
and furnishings of the new hotel, modern to the smallest detail.
The five story
hotel featured three elevators, 100 guest rooms, lush velvet carpets,
fine furnishings, private baths, and telephones in the guest rooms,
luxuries not seen in most hotels of the time.
The lobby was
lighted through a mission art panel skylight, decorated with heavy
brass fixtures and leather furniture, and its floor was finished in
tile and mahogany. The staircase leading from the lobby was made
of solid marble and steel. The lobby bar gleamed with plate
glass and mahogany fixtures. On the Mezzanine level, an
orchestra entertained guests
The hotel soon
attracted numerous cattle barons, oil tycoons, and the many travelers
making their way to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. Guests
raved about the amenities and service provided at the hotel. But
for one couple, their stay would end in tragedy.