Black Monarch Hotel in Victor, Colorado

The Black Monarch Hotel exterior

Victor, Colorado is an old mining town that was established in 1895. It was once home to 18,000 people during the gold rush but these days Victor has a population of just over 400 people and is a semi-ghost town.

 

Adam Zimmerli initially purchased the Monarch, a former casino and gentlemen’s club, as an investment. It was originally built in 1895, but a massive fire destroyed the town in 1899. After the fire, the Monarch was rebuilt, but unfortunately the gold dried up shortly after. Like many of the buildings in Victor, the Monarch holds many of its original features and was vacant.

Zimmerli renovated the hotel with a gothic Victorian theme but he kept as many original features as possible such as the tin ceilings. The hotel opened in 2019 and currently has seven themed rooms named after famous figures from history and fiction: H.H. Holmes, Elizabeth Bathory, Lizzie Borden, Dracula, Jack the Ripper, Black Annis, and Tesla.

The Nikola Tesla room was inspired by the famous inventor and electrical engineer who had spent a short time in Colorado Springs in 1899. It’s the only room that doesn’t have a macabre theme and, somewhat ironically, it’s the room that has reports of paranormal activity. Multiple guests have reported “sounds of women laughing and tumultuous partying as if there were 100 people were downstairs” around the hour of 3 a.m. It’s also said a figure of a woman has been seen standing in the window. Zimmerli takes more of a scientific stance and states there can be other explanations for the occurrences but since he’s stayed at the hotel he has experienced strange phenomena himself on more than one occasion. He welcomes paranormal investigators and embraces his hotel being “haunted”.

The first level of the Black Monarch is home to Phantom Canyon Coffee & Gifts, a shop that has unique decor that’s a mix of taxidermy, oddities, and antiques. Zimmerli is currently in the process of renovating the old ballroom and turning it into a museum. He also purchased a building next door and a building across the street. What started out as an investment has turned into the historic preservation of a town. He said “it’s not about the money at this point” and feels that the town has so much more to offer than just a “themed hotel” and he encourages visitors to learn about the mining history and the Wild West.

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