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, 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-built 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 and comforts offered at the Occidental.
Then, during the Great Depression of the 1930s, the splendor of the hotel began to fade. Everybody in Wyoming tightened their belts; money became scarce. Businesses dried up and the owners of the Occidental began the long struggle to keep the doors open. By the 1980s, the hotel, run down and dilapidated,seemed destined to be lost to history.
But the Occidental was not torn down. Instead, the building was purchased in 1997 by Dawn Dawson, who began the painstaking ten-year process of historic restoration. She further, intiated and achieved getting the hotel onto the National Historical Register. During this period David Stewart helped Dawn to restore the North Wing of the hotel and started the Saloon’s Famous Occidental Jam (est. 2006). The Hotel maintained an overwhelming show of support from the communityof Buffalo. David and Jackie Stewart became managing partners in 2008 and purchased 100% of the property in 2015.
The Occidental Hotel is 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!, and shortly after The Best Saloon In The West. The Occidental was 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. Traveler's from anywhere can step into history when they visit the Historic Occidental Hotel.
Come. Experience. Stay. Rest.
“140 Years of Western Hospitality at its best”
10 North Main Street, Buffalo Wyoming 82834(307) 684-0451