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Gunnison History Tracker
301 South Boulevard
The La Veta Hotel
The Lewis Hotel - 1882
View from Lewis Hotel roof- 1882
George  Willard of Ironton, Ohio, started building the hotel, and had the basement excavated and foundation walls started by Spring of 1881.  B.W. Lewis formed the Lewis Hotel & Improvement Company, and took over the construction of the hotel August of 1882.  The hotel was known as the Lewis Hotel during the construction, but when it came time to open the hotel, B.W. Lewis did not want the hotel named after him.  By the time that Lewis voiced his interjection about the hotel name, the chairs, rugs, linens, silver and other hotel items had "L.H." marked on them.  So a new name needed to be chosen that would match the "L.H." monogram.  The name "La Veta," which means "The Vein" became the official name for the May 22, 1884 opening,
The hotel would cost over $200,000.00 to build over the three year construction.  It was four stories high, with a basement and garret, and covered a space of 125 foot square.  The hotel had a bank, with a fire-proof safe, 107 sleeping rooms, an elevator, and the bar had the largest glass mirror in the State of Colorado.  On September 21, 1943, the La Veta Hotel went on the block at a Sheriff's Sale.  Mortgagee S.H. Sanders was the only bidder, bidding $8,350.00.
Torn down by Les Arnet [who was operating a Lumber Yard in Colorado Springs]. He stated "He was willing to do something with the building if anyone can show me how it will pay!" Les was a long time Gunnison resident. He became famous for the houses he transplanted in West Gunnison, and the tearing down of the La Veta Hotel, and many other ventures.