courtesy of the Custer County Chief
The Historic Arrow Hotel was built on 1928 by a group
of private citizens to service the needs of the railroad. It replaced
the old Commercial Hotel, and was the first three-story building in Broken
Bow. The street-level consisted of the lobby, restaurant, beauty salon,
barbershop, ladies dress shop and a ballroom. The second and third floors
held fifty-two sleeping rooms with public baths at the end of the halls.
In 1932 an additional twenty sleeping rooms were added bringing the total
to seventy-two. Shortly thereafter, the great depression hit Broken Bow,
and the hotel was sold.
Original Coffee Shop
1928 Dining Hall
Early 20th century Arrow Hotel Lobby
In 1984, after years of disrepair, Ray Brown, who
had been a boy at the time the hotel was erected, had a vision of renovating
the structure to extend its future. He convinced other community members
to join his effort to raise renovation funds. The original seventy-two
rooms were converted into twenty-three apartments to be marketed to retirees.
When this idea did not prove successful, the investors
decided to return the business back to a hotel with the apartments becoming
suites. The barbershop became a small meeting room, the dress shop was
converted into a convention room, and the beauty salon became a small
bar. The beauty salon was then moved into a portion of the old ballroom
where it still remains today.
The restaurant also received a face-lift with new
booths built from the original hotel room doors complete with the vintage
room numbers. The Arrow Hotel was also added to the National Registry
of Historic Places at this time.
In 2005 another group of investors joined Ray Brown
again to do additional renovation. This time the main concentration was
on the street-level of the building. The vision of the new owners was
to invoke a traditional western hotel motif and traditional copper tile
ceiling. The front desk is reminiscent of the original 1928 era with columns
and granite top. The exterior was returned to its vintage look as well
with an awning and lantern-style lighting.
Arrow Hotel lobby today
The restaurant, now called the Bonfire Grill, gained
space when the small bar was moved to the convention room. Renamed the
Bonfire Pub, the back bar area was also built from the vintage hotel room
doors. The Bonfire Grill and Pub prides itself on serving the highest
quality food and beverages. The small meeting room was converted to a
traditional-style cigar room complete with a state-of-the-art filtration
system as the Pub and restaurant are smoke free. The Cigar room is decorated
with comfortable swivel leather chairs, a stained glass window, and western-themed
art. This room also contains the only signed mural by Tom Talbott, Broken
Bow’s most famous artist, and whose father owned the hotel when
Tom was young.
After the street-level renovation was completed in
2006, the guest suites and rooms were painted and the decor updated. This
is an ongoing process with additional improvements such as the complete
installation of new windows designed to resemble the original hotel windows.
Arrow Hotel street view
The owners invite you to enjoy this unique experience and history as the Arrow is not just a hotel, but truly a destination!
Arrow Hotel was built in 1928 entirely by local capital.
In 1932, 72 rooms were available.
The Great Depression forced the original investors to sell the property, but it continued to operate as a hotel.
In 1984, Ray Brown, a local developer rescued the structure and raised funds for renovation.
The 72 rooms were converted into 23 apartments for retirees. The business strategy was a failure, so the building was returned back to a hotel.
The Arrow Hotel was listed on the National Registry of Historic Places.
In 2005, more renovations were made to invoke the traditional elegant western style of the hotel.
The hotel restaurant became the Bonfire Grill and Pub.
In 2006, the decor was updated and there is
on-going cosmetic changes.