Grand hotels with deep railroad roots


Hotels and railroads go way back.

The relationship worked: Travelers needed somewhere to sleep, so railroad companies built hotels.
Though the earliest railroad lodgings in the United States were primarily for railway workers, later hotels catered to the lavish lifestyles of Gilded Age travelers.
“The people who are taking long-distance railroad excursions in the 1880s, 1890s, are generally quite well-to-do people,” said Andrew Sandoval-Strausz, a professor at the University of New Mexico and author of “Hotel: An American History.”
Many of the country’s grand railroad hotels were constructed from the 1880s through the first decade of the 20th century.
It was a fine time to be rich (before U.S. income tax) and a fine time to operate a luxury hotel (before cars changed travel patterns forever).
The new hotels often also offered some less-expensive rooms to attract the rising middle class, Sandoval-Strausz said.
Though Canada has a slightly different railway-hotel…

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