not be as bad as a bull in a china shop, but a steer in the lobby of a historic
Denver hotel comes pretty close.
celebration of the Colorado city’s annual National Western Stock Show, the Brown Palace Hotel
and Spa welcomes the
competition’s Grand Champion steer (a castrated bull) to its ornate eight-storey
atrium every January – just in time for the hotel’s trademark afternoon tea.
known for hosting nearly every US president, along with celebrities from Molly
Brown to the Beatles, the Brown Palace has welcomed livestock in its lobby
since 1945, when Colorado rancher and politician Dan Thorton brought his two
bulls into the lobby for display and later sold them at the stock show for
$50,000. A few years later in 1958, rodeo star Monte Montana rode his horse Rex
up the hotel’s cast iron grand staircase to drop in on a
rodeo cowboys meeting.
The Brown Palace does take precautions to keep a sense of
decorum during livestock appearances. For example, the hotel puts up a small
cattle pen lined with turf and plastic underneath. As the hotel's chief
engineer once told the
Westword, Denver's alternative weekly paper, "These little creatures
don't care when they're gonna cut loose." Thankfully, the Palace staff
stays vigilant when it comes to pooper-scooper duty.
winning steer, determined at the Market Beef Championship selection on 24
January, will strut his stuff down a rolled out red carpet on 25 January from
11am to 1pm, and visitors are welcome to take pictures with him. After his
moment in the spotlight, the championship steer will go up for sale in the
Junior Livestock Champions Auction. Last year’s winner, named Stripe, weighed more
than 1,300lb and sold for more than $106,000.
annual stock show runs from 12 January to 27 January, with events like sheepdog
herding and mutton bustin’ (where children ages five to seven
try to stay atop a bucking lamb the longest) rounding out the weekend.