The History of the Occidental Hotel
Founded in 1880, the Occidental Hotel quickly became one of the most renowned hotels in Wyoming. Located near the Bozeman Trail at the foot of the Bighorn Mountains, the hotel was visited by many famous people of the Old West as they traveled along the Trail. Early in its existence, the Occidental established a reputation for hospitality and fine food.
Among those who enjoyed the hospitality of the Occidental in the early days were Buffalo Bill Cody and Teddy Roosevelt --- and Calamity Jane, who drove freight wagons on the Bozeman Trail.
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid rode to the Occidental from their hideout at the nearby Hole-in-the-Wall. The famous cattle detective and killer, Tom Horn, was another frequent visitor. And legendary frontier sheriff’s like Frank Canton and “Red” Angus were regulars at the bar.
As time passed, the Occidental was expanded and re-build until it became a “grand” hotel, with elegant decor and fine service. Cowboys and business from around Wyoming ---- and business travelers and tourists from around the world ---- went miles out of their way to enjoy the many pleasures offered by the Occidental.
Then, during the Great Depression of the 1930s, the splendor of the hotel began to fade. As everybody on Wyoming tightened their belts, money became scarce. As business dried up, the owners of the Occidental began a long struggle to keep the doors open.
By the 1980s, the hotel had became so run down and dilapidated that it seemed only a matter of time before it would be demolished.
But the Occidental was not torn down. Instead, the building was purchased in 1997 by Dawn Dawson, who began a ten-year process of historic restoration and placed on the National Historical Register. David Steward helped Dawn restore the North Wind of the hotel and started the Saloon’s Famous Occidental Jam in 2006, established overwhelming support from the Buffalo Community. David and Jackie Steward became managing partners in 2008 and purchased 100% of the property in 2015.
The Occidental Hotel’s status has returned to one of the great hotels of the Old West. True West Magazine made it official by naming the Occidental Hotel The Best Hotel in The West!. Then we earned The Best Saloon In The West. And … , we were placed on the National Geographic Traveler Magazine’s ; “Must Stay List.” In this new era, featured and awarded again and again, The Historic Occidental continues it’s reputation for western hospitality and fine food, allowing her guests to enjoy a one of a kind historical experience. Come. Experience. Stay. Rest.
“137 Years of Western Hospitality at its best”
10 North Main Street, Buffalo Wyoming 82834(307) 684-0451
FACEBOOK US! HISTORIC OCCIDENTAL HOTEL WEB SITE: WWW.OCCIDENTALWYONIG.COM