The Hand Hotel

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The Hand Hotel is a hotel in Fairplay, Colorado. It was built in 1931, by Jake and Jessie Hand, and has become a central building in Fairplay since then. My experience with the Hand Hotel has been only through Fairplay Burro Days, when my family goes to Fairplay to take part in a weird event called burro racing where you race up a mountain pass while leading a donkey. Anyway, the race starts and ends in front of the Hand Hotel, and event officials call out announcements from the deck of the hotel throughout the day. After the race, the hotel hosts a banquet for all of the racers and volunteers.  The building is particularly memorable to me because it is at the center of what has been the best part of the summer since I was 7. For someone who’s never actually stayed at the Hand Hotel, I’ve spent a lot of time there.


The building itself is interesting for a number of reasons. For one, the giant “Hotel” sign makes it the most noticeable building by far in Fairplay, a tiny mining town with a population of less than 1000 people. The inside of the building is warm and cozy, with a fireplace and a sunroom, and all the rooms have various old west themes. Like a lot of old buildings, it’s also widely believed to be haunted. People have come up with all sorts of spirit encounters, from a biting demon dog in the basement to “grandma hand” who just wants to make sure that her room stays tidy. I’ve certainly never seen a ghost, and neither has anyone I know personally, but the stories add to the interest of the building.

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