The Broadmoor gets five stars, but the resort’s most famous drunk has faded

The news has arrived that the venerable Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs has achieved its 33rd straight five-diamond rating from AAA, one of just three highest-rated hotels in Colorado. In its just-released ratings, AAA doesn’t tie The Broadmoor to the legacy of George W. Bush, but many a Coloradan will forever link the resort to the place where Bush claims he got his last drunk on while wildly celebrating his 40th birthday.

As the legend goes, on July 28, 1986, Bush woke up with a wicked hangover. He was the son of the vice president of the United States. He was 40. It was, as the Washington Post and others have detailed, a “symbolic halfway point, a moment of appraisal.”

A charismatic partier since his school days, Bush liked to drink what he called the four Bs — beer, bourbon and B&B; But he had begun to realize that his drinking was jeopardizing his relationships, his career and his health.

Although friends say Bush did not drink daily or during daylight hours, even those closest to him acknowledge privately that if not clinically an alcoholic, Bush sometimes came close to the line. Sometimes he would embarrass himself; more often, he didn’t know how to stop.

Again, as legend has it, Bush stopped drinking from that day forward. Fourteen years later he became the 43rd president of the United States.

Come Jan. 20 Bush may be leaving office one of the most, if not the most, unpopular presidents in modern history, but his drunken 40th gives him a place in history at The Broadmoor, tucked into a mountainside in western Colorado Springs. Heck, it’s easily enough to warrant the naming of a suite.

Now, we just need to get some randy stories brewing at the Little Nell in Aspen and the Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch in Beaver Creek, Colorado’s other hotels that received five-star ratings this week.

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Cara Degette

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