You might not think that a hotel would want to be known as one of the scariest places in the world, but the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado is banking on the horror that has spilled through its drafty halls.
Famous for inspiring Stephen King’s The Shining (although Kubrick’s version borrowed more from the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park), the Stanley has never shied away from its stir-crazy spookiness, and recent years have seen the grounds become the home of the immersive, horror-themed Stanley Film Festival. And they must have been happy to do it, because the hotel has announced plans to flesh out the property with the Stanley Film Center, according to the Denver Business Journal. Organizers are describing as “the world’s first horror-themed museum, film archive, and film production studio.”
With a Founding Board that includes genre icons like George Romero, Elijah Wood, and Simon Pegg, this isn’t going to be some dinky little gift shop off the lobby. The hotel envisions this as a $24 million development ($11.5 of which they’re asking from the state through Colorado’s Regional Tourism Act), complete with a 500-seat auditorium, a 30,000-square-foot interactive museum, and space for the Colorado Film School to set up an educational program of some kind. I’ve seen some traveling exhibits before but nothing of this scale that would be a permanent fixture for horror fans to drown in the bloody goodness of our favorite genre.
“I would love to have a home for which we could constantly come year-round and celebrate with other fans from around the world,” Wood told PR Newswire. “There’s really no better place for there to be a permanent home for the celebration of horror as an art form than the Stanley Hotel. It was practically built for it.”