SHERIDAN, Wyo. – Bob Townsend of Oklahoma never imagined that his childhood memories of playing on the porch of the Sheridan Inn in Wyoming would be a memory passed on to his grandchildren.
But that's what's on the horizon, if the deal to purchase the historic hotel goes through as planned by the end of next month.
He said circumstances beyond his control took him away from Wyoming when he was a boy, but he still has lots of family in the area. And since purchasing a house southwest of town nine years ago, he and his wife Dana, have come to think of Sheridan as their second home.
He went on to say his ties to the Sheridan Inn go even deeper than playing on the porch.
Miss Kate is to many the legendary lady of the inn whose spirit still watches over the historic grand hotel where she spent most of her life.
Townsend was at the Inn this week, with his team from his heating, plumbing and air conditioning business checking out the geothermal earth loop. In layman's terms, that means he was making sure the heating and cooling infrastructure was in good working order.
As for their plans, he said, the first thing to do is get the place cleaned up, because it was under reconstruction and renovation when the bank foreclosed on the property. Then they hope to get the main floor meeting rooms and ballroom open for business as soon as possible and all 22 of the rooms ready to rent within the next couple of years.
Getting back to those childhood memories to pass on to his grandchildren, well, he's already making plans because there's one on the way.
And now that he's given that idea some thought, he just might buy a few more. Then all the children stopping by the Inn could hop on a hobby horse and take that imaginary trip. That ride into the sunset from the porch of the Sheridan Inn, like children may have done more than a century ago.