A Luxury Resort–Was it Really a Ghost Town?

 

My first contemporary western romance, A COWBOY AND A PROMISE, will be released on January 24th by Tule Publishing.  Yee-Haw!

I just loved writing this book!  From the moment I envisioned Beau Paxton and Ava Howell in my mind, I fell in love with them.  I used the classic ‘fish out of water’ storyline, and the words just flowed.

Ava has a degree in construction management and drives all the way from New York City to take on a ghost town renovation project to honor a promise she made to her friend, who had made a promise to Beau’s mother. 

And of course, Beau doesn’t WANT his beloved ghost town renovated.  He doesn’t want strangers on his family’s land, he doesn’t want to spend the money, he doesn’t want his grandfather’s legacy (the ghost town) touched or changed from the way he’s always known it, and how it’s been for decades.

Sparks fly, for sure. 

I enjoyed the research, too.  But even before I dug in with Google, I wasn’t sure there was such a thing as renovating a ghost town into a guest resort.

Indeed, there was.

Dunton Hot Springs is located near Telluride, Colorado.  Dunton was first established in 1895 as a mining camp, and as was normal for mining communities springing up in less-than-ideal locations, once the mining peaked, the town died a slow death, eventually becoming deserted in 1918. 

A pair of long-time residents bought the entire town and a few mining claims, operating the land as a cattle ranch, then a dude ranch for a number of years.  Finally, in 1994, the current owners purchased the entire town and devoted seven years to renovating it into the luxury resort it is today.

Visitors can enjoy winter sport activities or bask in the captivating summer landscapes.  They can go glamping in a camp of eight luxury tents, enjoy hot springs that steam in the winter and entice in the summer, or head to Telluride for a stay in the historic Dunton Town House.  For the adventurous, or for those who just want to put their cell phones away and relax in the wilderness, Dunton promises a get-away not to be forgotten.

Rooms at the Town House rent from $350 – $500 per night. Cabin rates range from $1,200 to $2,020 per night. 

Um, yeah.

From its website:

“Apart from the beautiful landscape, Dunton Hot Springs is also the number one all inclusive resort in the US according to TripAdvisor, and number 8 in the entire world. Each cabin is different, but shares some things in common. They are all immaculately decorated with elements that find that spectacular combination of rustic and luxury. Oh, and did we mention one cabin has a private hot spring all to itself?”

Sounds fabulous, doesn’t it?  Of course, luxury comes with a cost, and this resort taps into a clientele that is willing to pay the price.

What about you?  Have you ever stayed at a luxury resort or hotel?  Are you willing to splurge on lavish accommodations as part of your vacation?  Can you justify the cost of an expensive room?  Do you love a spa treatment?  Massage?  Is atmosphere an important part of your get-away?  Do you prefer an outdoors vacation?  Or an urban one with all the comforts of home?

Let’s chat!

 

 

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Pam Crooks
Pam looks forward to the release of her first contemporary western romance, A COWBOY AND A PROMISE, from Tule Publishing in January, 2019. Also in January, ELEANORA, Book #8 in the Widows of Wildcat Ridge series. She has just re-released 2 Christmas novellas, ONE MAGIC EVE and THE CATTLEMAN'S CHRISTMAS BRIDE, as well as WANTED! More of her books are coming! Stay up on the latest at www.pamcrooks.com

36 Comments

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  1. Sure, I’d be willing to splurge on lavish accommodations -if I ever won the lottery!

  2. Hello Pam- loves loves this blog. Wow what a great history lesson on the ghost town.
    I e never stayed in a luxery hotel or getaway line this one. What a treat, but I think it’s too pricey for my budget. But if I could afford I My I’d love it I. The mountains and this resort definitely appeals to everthing I love. I’m a mountain girl getaway person. That ocean does not interest me. That’s for sharing.

    1. Good point, Tonya! I think most people are either water people or land people, and this resort (or any tucked in the mountains somewhere) will definitely appeal to those who love nature. I look at that luxurious tent, and I can’t help thinking – how do they keep the bugs out? Or the little critters? It doesn’t look very sturdy, but if you’re the outdoors type, that tent is pure luxury!

  3. Well after reading this blog I know if I hit the lottery I’m looking for a ghost town to buy and renovate! What fun that would be! It could be a place to rent out the whole town for a wedding getaway or family reunions as well as the rent a cabin or room by the night. The saloon could be a venue for the up and coming musicians. I could really get into this ghost town theory! I have stayed at luxury resorts before, many, many moons ago when my parents were flipping the bill. Being on disability income I can’t even afford a vacation much less a luxury one. I guess I better start buying a lottery ticket on a regular basis! Dreaming is so much fun! Loved this blog! Best of luck with your new release and new genre! Happy New Year!!

    1. Thank you, Stephanie! Your thoughts are exactly the premise for A COWBOY AND A PROMISE! Beau’s mother has the same vision you do, which of course, he resists. I suspect the second book in the trilogy will focus more on the completed project, and it will be so fun!

      I hope you get a chance to read A COWBOY AND A PROMISE when it comes out on January 24th!

  4. I would be willing to indulge. I have come close but not like that.

    1. I’m guessing most people haven’t indulged quite to that degree, Debra. I can’t imagine having $2,000 to spend just to sleep somewhere. Heck, you’re just sleeping that money away! LOL.

      But, that said, it would be quite memorable, wouldn’t it?

  5. I have stayed at some really nice hotels, but I don’t think they would be considered luxury, though I thought they were pretty luxurious. I would definitely stay in a luxury hotel if I had the money. I do like the idea of being pampered and being well taken care of.

    1. Me, too, Janine. Most of us aren’t pampered at home, so getting away to a nice place for pampering is a real treat and something to remember.

      My thing? Clean. I want clean. If a hotel is big and fancy (and I’ve stayed at a few), it doesn’t matter how fancy if I find a hair in the sink. Gah!

      Thanks for stopping by!

      1. I agree. It has to be super spotless. That is what people pay for. And I hate it when I have gone to the ones that want you to use the towels again. Sorry. I know it’s supposed to be better for the environment, but I want clean towels when I am on vacation.

  6. Congratulations. I have not heard of a real ghost town turning resort. This is interesting. Yes I am willing to splurge a little on vacations, lol, but not quite that much. I used to love to camp outside, sometimes in a hotel but be in the outdoors. As I have gotten older, I really like my comfort and prefer hotels. This sounds like a fun book.

    1. You’re right, Lori. The older we get, the less adventurous we get. I’ve earned my time to enjoy luxury. If not that, then at least the comforts of home. Thanks for stopping by!

  7. This was really interesting! I have not camped outside in many years… but once as a kid, my family stayed in a really fancy hotel… it was stunning, but we looked out of place coming in our everyday summer clothes… 🙂

    1. I know what you mean, Colleen. I’ve been in hotels where families walk out of swimming pools and down halls in their wet hair, dragging beach towels and leaving footprints behind. Doesn’t seem to fit an expensive place, does it? You feel like you should be dressed up!

      Thanks for stopping by.

  8. I love the allure of luxury. I have been comfortable and rustic too. Ghost towns are fascinating.

    1. Ghost towns just get the imagination going, don’t they, Anne?

  9. A Cowboy and a Promise sounds like a great story! I love the idea of luxury but not so much the actual experience. I was lucky enough to be selected to represent my division at a corporate awards ceremony and could take my husband. Accommodations were luxurious but in the end it was still a hotel room and I was out and about more than in it, and I don’t really like to be fussed over like that. Dunton Hot Springs sound enchanting but I think I would have to fall in a bucket of money to go there.

    1. That’s just it, Sally. You’d have to spend a lot of time in your hotel to justify the cost. But it is nice when a hotel provides room service for free and some nice pampering lotions, etc. Puffy linens are a big thing for me, too.

      Appreciate hearing from you!

  10. I would enjoy splurging and the experience of these surroundings. What a memorable time. I weigh and measure everything. I need comfort but there is a limit. I don’t go overboard ever.

    1. You sound very practical, April. I’m alot like you. Sometimes, I wish I was more extravagant, but I’m a clone for my mother, and I’ll probably never change. LOL.

  11. A wonderful and memorable trip would be unforgettable which I would enjoy, but I do not want a massage or spa. Unnecessary and frivolous for me. I enjoy peace and serenity. Simple and luxury go together but are not always attainable.

    1. So glad you mentioned a massage or spa, Ellie!

      My brother treated us to massages when we were in Mexico. They’re evidently pretty cheap down there, but while the massage was soothing, I just felt funny having a stranger’s hands all over me.

      Spas are the rage, but I can’t justify the money on them. When we were on our cruise, the spa place booked up fast, but I had no interest. Funny how women think differently, isn’t it?

  12. We don’t vacation often and I’ve mentioned spending a night at a B&B but we always choose economy lodging so no, luxurious and expensive accommodations are not an option for us ?

    1. I hope you get that B & B sometime, Connie. They usually feed you a nice breakfast with some snacks throughout the day, so if you can factor that in, the cost isn’t too bad. Besides, the bedrooms are so nicely decorated, better than a hotel room!

  13. We don’t vacation often and I’ve mentioned spending a night at a B&B but we always choose economy lodging so no, luxurious and expensive accommodations are not an option for us ?

  14. The Thanksgiving holiday I went to Branson with my cousins. We stayed in their time share. It was a luxury to me since I had my own room with stove, microwave, refrigerator and bathroom.

  15. Nope give me a tent, air mattress and sleeping bag and I am good.

    1. I get it! Nothing wrong with that in the least, Kim. Thanks for stopping by!

  16. There is absolutely no way I would ever pay that amount of money for 1 night stay. I don’t even think I could enjoy that if someone else paid for it, there are so many other things to do with that much money.

  17. We lived in Colorado for 3 years and this is a beautiful area. The idea of fixing up an old ghost town for a resort is genius. The prices are a bit steep, but there are people who can and will pay it. For vacations, I like to get away and I pick both roughing it as well as nice accommodations with a selection of amenities. We have stayed in nice cabins in the woods in Idaho and Colorado, rustic cabins in Yellowstone, and a long time ago camped in tents. Sleeping on the ground is out, we are both a bit old for that now. We do have a small RV and that is how we camp now. We do like going to cities for what they have to offer. It what is available to visit that is most important for me. We rarely spend much time in our hotel rooms. I do not care for massages, but my husband likes them. We have stayed in some nice resorts over the years, and it is relaxing. We rarely take advantage of everything they offer. Would I splurge on an expensive vacation? If I won the lottery, it would be no problem. Right now, I would be thinking of house much more I could do with the money spent on the room. A clean room with a bathroom and a comfortable bed are all I really need.

    1. All so true, Patricia. I’m with ya!

  18. For our honeymoon, we stayed at an upscale hotel. But, we didn’t do extras like spa treatments.

    1. Ah, a honeymoon. I don’t know if there’s a more special time to splurge than when starting a new life together!

  19. Sorry to have missed this, Pam. HUGE congrats on the new release! Woo-Hoo! I’m doing the happy dance for you. Love you post. I have never stayed in a luxury hotel or cabin. Just never had the chance but I can’t see me plunking out this kind of money. Dunton Hot Springs sounds completely amazing though. Colorado is so beautiful. Love the mountains.

    I’m halfway through Eleanora and I’m loving it. She’s such a strong woman and Reed is enamored with her. Can’t wait to see how it ends.

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