ESTES PARK, Colo. (CBS4) – Of the more than 60,000 people who take tours here at the Stanley Hotel every year, more than half are interested in some kind of paranormal experience, the hotel says.
Now, owners are capitalizing on fame from movies like “The Shining” and putting their own stamp on the hotel’s rich history.
The hotel in Estes Parks draws many of its visitors because of its reputation as birthplace of the horror classic, “The Shining,” a 1977 novel by Stephen King.
“People are intrigued by the unknown and everyone wants to believe in something that they can’t see, they can’t touch (and) they can’t feel,” visitor Philip Economou said.
If you want to feel, or hear, the so-called spirits yourself, you have to book months in advance.
Room 217, where Stephen King stayed in 1973, is one of the hotel’s most sought-after rooms.
“It’s haunted by the ghost of a chamber maid injured in a gas explosion in 1911,” hotel historian Jeremy Spates said.
There’s one homage to “The Shining” that is notably absent.
“People come here looking for the hedge maze, wondering if there ever was one that inspired Stephen King or Stanley Kubrick,” Spates said.
There isn’t a hedge maze in King’s novel. Kubrick added it in his 1980 adaptation, so the addition is more of a nod to the film, not the book.
The hotel wants to construct a hedge maze to sit atop the property’s south lawn. It’s created a contest, asking people to design a hedge maze that will be unveiled in April. They’ve already received ideas from more than 20 horror film enthusiasts, landscape artists and one Loveland geometry class.
They’ll unveil the winning design with party, celebrating the hotel’s history and future.
The hotel said the hedge maze will be about 61,500 square feet and be comprised of 1,600 to 2,000 Alpine Currant hedge bushes.
“I think they need some extra things at this hotel to draw people, and I think it will just be one more thing that people will enjoy,” visitor Gale Economou said.
Ideas can be submitted through the end of January.