I have underrated Nebraska. It was always that state I hurried across on I-80 to get to what I perceived to be better places, like Colorado. But this time Ruth & I took our time and found some big city attractions of note, like Omaha’s Joslyn Museum, a quietly scenic highway, #2, pleasing vistas, a wonderful small town named Broken Bow, and a 5 Compass hotel, The Arrow.
The Arrow is in Broken Bow, which is about as far from a big city as a town can get. Denver is 337 miles away. The Arrow was built in 1928 by private citizens to serve the railroad. We saw countless coal trains on our way to town on #2. At first The Arrow was called The Commercial Hotel. The Commercial had a ballroom, a ladies’ dress shop, and three floors of guest rooms. It could have been torn down in 1984 but was saved and turned into 23 retiree apartments. In 2005 it had another redo and became a delightful western-style hotel with a cigar room sporting leather seats, a pub, an excellent service-oriented staff, etc. In its popular Bonfire Grill, diners can get Onion Petals for a side, drink Sioux City Sarsaparilla, and enjoy Baked Alaska for dessert. Then they can walk around the square or retire to their suite or standard room to soak up the ambiance. If you’re in the mood for a movie, the Tiffany Theater is a short walk away. This is not your typical hotel or rural community.
The Arrow has 26 guest rooms. down from the original 72. Updating occurs regularly. The rooms I saw were large and easy-to-like, not antique-filled 19th century re-creations like the themed ones in Buffalo’s Occidental Hotel. Pride of place is palpable in The Arrow and all over Broken Arrow. I was not ready to leave either, but the rich grasslands of Nebraska’s Sandhills beckoned.
PS. Surely there are other classic hotels still in existence that once served the citizens of the Western Frontier. I’m looking for them.