The Stanley Hotel – it’s not only for ghost hunters.
Now more than ever, Estes Park’s majestic, historic and infamously haunted hotel, which inspired Stephen King’s 1980 horror novel “The Shining,” will be a playground for entertainers, musicians, comedians, inspirational speakers and their fans. That’s due to the newly completed $10 million Pavilion Amphitheater on the property’s west end.
“We really want to host world-class talent,” said Reed Rowley, vice president of development for the Grand Heritage Hotel Group. “We’re looking for national main acts people can resonate with. The pavilion is up close and personal.”
Two comedians will christen the new venue – “Saturday Night Live” alum Jim Breuer, with two shows Friday, and “A Prairie Home Companion” head writer and performer Tom Papa, with two shows Saturday.
Coming later this year are musicians David Crosby, Tommy Emmanuel, Bacon Brothers featuring Kevin Bacon and Graham Nash.
The 300-seat pavilion has an 11,000-pound glass door behind the stage that can open and close, converting the indoor venue into an outdoor amphitheater in 45 seconds. A floating stage can extend onto the pond that abuts the back of the stage, giving artists a chance to perform outdoors. And all of it is framed against an “incredible backdrop,” Rowley said.
The site initially was conceived of as a venue for the hotel’s already robust wedding business, but managers quickly realized they had something bigger on their hands. While the space is still available for weddings and corporate events, the Stanley’s entertainment offerings were expanded.
Thirteen buildings stand on the property, including the 330-seat Stanley Concert Hall, which until now was the only venue for shows.
What makes the concert hall and pavilion so unusual and appealing to guests is the easy access they have to their favorite artists.
“The artists are walking around the property meeting fans,” said Rowley. “The Stanley Concert Hall is intimate. A lot of time the artists go and socialize with guests at The Whiskey Bar and Lounge after the show. It’s almost more like a fan club gathering than a traditional concert.”
JENNIFER MULSON, THE GAZETTE, 636-0270, [email protected]
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