The Strater Hotel, the Grand Old Dame of Durango, dominates the view on Main Street. The original hotel was built by a young Cleveland pharmacist, Henry Strater, in 1887. Henry, a minor at the time, had to lie about his age in order to get a loan. The hotel thrived during the silver boom of the late 1800’s, becoming popular especially during the winter as locals shut up their homes and wintered at the hotel. It became “the” place for local events, and it still claims that title in the 21st century.
The silver panic of 1895 ended the boom times and the hotel was sold to a local couple who managed to keep it going during the tough economic spell. The Barker family first became involved in the Strater’s ownership in 1926; Rod Barker, the current owner, has lovingly continued his family’s care of the hotel, adding to the hotel’s extensive collection of Victorian furniture and maintaining a standard of customer service unmatched anywhere. Any Durango experience should include a stay at the Strater Hotel. You can read more about the history of the hotel including its connection to Mesa Verde and Western author Louis L’Amour on the hotel’s web site: www.strater.com.
You could spend all of your time at the Strater during your stay in Durango and not go away disappointed. With its comfortable rooms, antique décor, two bars (the Diamond Belle serving up large doses of the honky-tonk Old West and the Office Spiritorium offering a sheik Victorian meeting place, both popular with locals), and award-winning restaurant (the Mahogany Grill) you can let the town of Durango come to you. The Strater’s kitchen, one of the best in Durango, serves all three venues as well as a generous hot breakfast to guests each morning. You don’t even have to leave the property to enjoy the Western Melodrama at the Henry Strater Theatre and an evening gun fight in the Diamond Belle. What better way to start your La Plata adventure?