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The Cosgriff Hotel

Landmark known for its grand and troubled existence

Jan Gerber

Built in 1940 by William “Bill” and Wilma Cosgriff, along with several local businessmen as stockholders, the Cosgriff Hotel was a landmark in Craig for many years.

From the grand opening gala to its final days, it was headquarters to many governors, senators and Congressmen when they were in Northwestern Colorado.

Actor Gary Cooper was a guest at the Cosgriff in 1948 and Jack Benny in 1960.

Other celebrities to stay at the hotel were Jane Fonda, Duncan Hines and band leader Stan Kenton.

The hotel was featured in Time and Life magazines in the 1940s and the Chicago American newspaper in 1952.

In 1942, the hotel went into receivership and then was purchased at auction on the Moffat County Courthouse steps by Joe Stanton, Frank Bieser, C.A. Stoddard and Charles Gentry. Gentry was the hotel manager.

Bieser sold his interest, and after Stanton’s death, Stoddard and Gentry continued the operation, until Stoddard bought out Gentry’s interests in 1974.

The Stoddard family sold to a Wickenburg, Ariz., group, which operated the hotel for a few years, before selling to Roberts Management Corporation in California. The hotel shut down in April 1983.

Stoddard opened it again in July 1983 until December 1985 when it closed for good.

By 1989, the talk of transforming the hotel into a double cinema seemed like a way to save the building from demolition, but by 1992, it became apparent that the Cosgriff was doomed.

Known for its famous Saturday night smorgasbord, which included frog legs, skewered shrimp, ice sculptures, every imaginable kind of salad, and delicious prime rib, many Craig locals have fond memories of the Cosgriff Hotel.

Sadly, it was torn down in 1996 after a grand, yet troubled existence.


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