Victor, Colorado is an old mining town that was established in 1895. It was once home to 18,000 people during the gold rush but these days Victor has population of just over 400 people and is a semi-ghost town.
Adam Zimmerli initially purchased “The Monarch”, a former casino and gentlemen’s club, as an investment. It was originally built in 1895 but a massive fire destroyed the town in 1899. The Monarch was rebuilt following the fire but unfortunately the gold dried up shortly after. Like many of the buildings in Victor, the Monarch holds many of its original features and was vacant.
Zimmerli renovated the hotel with a gothic Victorian theme but he kept as many original features as possible such as the tin ceilings. The hotel opened in 2019 and currently has 7 themed rooms- “H.H Holmes”, “Elizabeth Bathory”, “Lizzie Borden”, “Dracula”, “Jack the Ripper”, Black Annis” and “Tesla”. The Nikola Tesla room was inspired by the famous inventor and electrical engineer who had spent a short time in Colorado Springs in 1899. It’s the only room that doesn’t have a macabre theme and, somewhat ironically, it’s the room that has reports of paranormal activity. Multiple guest have reported “sounds of women laughing and tumultuous partying as if their were 100 people were downstairs” around the hour of 3am. It’s also said a figure of a woman has been seen standing in the window. Zimmerli takes more of a scientific stance and states there can be other explanations for the occurrences but since he’s stayed at the hotel he has experienced strange phenomenon himself on more than one occasion. He welcomes paranormal investigators and embraces his hotel being “haunted”.
The first level of the Black Monarch offers Phantom Canyon Coffee & Gifts, a shop that has unique decor that’s a mix of taxidermy, oddities and antiques. He is currently in the process of renovating the old ballroom and turning it into a “Murder Museum”. Zimmerli also purchased a building next door and a building across the street. What started out as an investment has turned into the historic preservation of a town. He said “it’s not about the money at this point” and feels that the town has so much more to offer than just a “themed hotel” and he encourages visitors to learn about the mining history and the Wild West.
The building next door is another hotel called “The Best Little Boarding House in Victor”. It has a colorful theme with posters and portraits of classic female country western singers. The storefront is painted in pink and purple trim and will feature collections from Denver’s beloved emcee, musician, writer & producer Sid Pink. “Sid Pink’s Corner” showcases his personal art collections, wardrobe, books and collectibles. Opening date TBA. Zimmerli hopes to attract artist, creatives and other entrepreneurs.
As I had mentioned The Black Monarch is still under construction and a “Murder Museum” is in the works, the building next door and across the street will also be opening soon. I’m looking forward to returning to see the progress made!
Victor is about an hour drive from Colorado. Springs, just over 2 hours from Denver. The best time to visit is from June through October. It’s a great place to get away from the noise and the crowds. It’s also located about 15 mins from Cripple Creek, a larger mining town with casinos, museums and gold mine tours.