Presidents, movie stars, athletes, comedians.
Anybody who’s anybody has rested their head upon a Broadmoor pillow. And the Wall of Fame near the bowling alley Play in The Broadmoor West building boasts many of their mugs.
More than 200 celebrities who have stayed at the plush digs have had their photos taken by the hotel’s resident photographer and hung on the wall.
“We’re going to run out (of room) at some point,” Broadmoor Archivist Beth Davis said. “People keep having their photos taken. I’m not sure where you put them or how you decide to take somebody down. George H.W. Bush has three pictures up there. Maybe we can take one of them down.”
Davis and Mic Garofolo, the official photographer of The Broadmoor hotel, shared a few anecdotes they’ve heard or acquired first-hand.
1. Arnold Schwarzenegger
The actor attended a dinner as the special guest of an in-house group, and Garofolo was to photograph him throughout the meal.
“He’s so fun,” he said. “He’s doing selfies with people and going table-to-table congratulating the folks, laughing and cutting up with them.”
Toward the end of the event, he was told Schwarzenegger was ready for one last set of photos and to follow his instructions because he knew what he wanted. But Garofolo also had plans for the photo’s location, and the two went back and forth a couple of times.
“I realize I’m arguing with ‘The Terminator’ at this point,” Garofolo said. “I’m not sure we’re getting across to each other. He politely grabbed me by the shoulders, looked me square in the eyes and said, ‘No, do it at the table.’ We both stopped and looked at each other and started laughing so hard we both had tears in our eyes. I said, ‘When Arnold Schwarzenegger says you do it at the table,’ and then we both said in unison, ‘you do it at the table.’ That was the most fun interaction I’ve had with a celebrity.”
2. Kevin Bacon
The actor originally stayed at a downtown hotel while filming the 2015 thriller “Cop Car” in Fountain but was swamped with too much attention. In a bid for privacy, a movie producer called The Broadmoor and asked if any rooms were available. During his stay, Bacon agreed to have his photo taken for the Wall of Fame. Garofolo invited two of his young assistants along on the shoot but warned them they couldn’t ask for autographs. Bacon surprised them when he asked the girls if they’d like to pose with him for a photo after the shoot.
“They about melted,” Garofolo said. “He shook my hand, and off he went to work. Very humble and nice, a gentleman of a person. He loved the place so much, he called his wife, actress Kyra Sedgwick, and invited her. She came out and stayed for his last three days to enjoy it.”
3. Prince Harry
The newly married member of the British royal family stayed at the hotel a few years ago when he gave a speech in support of the Wounded Warrior Project. “He was very gracious,” Garofolo said. “People who bumped into him at the hotel said he was very nice.”
4. John Elway and Peyton Manning
“Fun guys,” the photographer said. “John did a photo bomb behind Peyton. I’ve worked with Peyton four to five times. He’s a pretty shy guy, keeps to himself. Really nice.”
5. Buzz Aldrin and Sigourney Weaver
Garofolo’s favorite hotel celebrity sighting is the former astronaut Aldrin, who was there to speak at the Space Symposium along with the actress. “Most people were going over to Sigourney, the big star,” he said. “I was going over to Buzz to say hello.”
6. Dwight Eisenhower
The former president liked to golf at the hotel. A waiter remembers taking a breakfast cart to his room and noting there were no Secret Service members or bodyguards. He knocked on the door, Eisenhower invited him in, and the two had a “nice chat,” Davis said. This was in the 1950s, before security was an issue.
7. Montie Montana
The rodeo trick rider and trick roper, actor, stunt man and cowboy once rode a horse down the stairs in the main lobby. It was a publicity stunt for an event in the ’50s.
8. John Wayne
The head of the hotel’s food and beverage department remembers a waiter who boarded a service elevator to take a tray of shrimp up to a private party in the ’50s. Wayne got in the elevator and started eating shrimp off the tray. When the waiter said he shouldn’t do that, the actor said it was OK, he’d just go to the party and serve the shrimp himself, which he wound up doing.
9. Jack Benny
The comedian visited regularly and liked to stay in another building on the property called the Colonial Club, an old structure that was the original Broadmoor Casino. He insisted it was cheaper. “He was a bit of a cheapskate,” Davis said.
10. John D. Rockefeller
The tycoon was set to be the first celebrity to stay at the hotel in 1918. He came for the soft opening June 1, but the smell of paint in the building bothered him. He left and stayed at the Antlers Hotel.
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