Stanley Hotel has plans for horror museum, film center

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ESTES PARK, Colo. -- There are more than just panoramic views surrounding the 140 rooms of Estes Park’s Stanley Hotel.

“You know the Stanley is an iconic building, an iconic location,” said Alexander Philippe, creative director for the Stanley Film Center.

After all, the Stanley Hotel is the inspiration behind Stephen King's "The Shining.”

“People love to be freaked out and really horror kind of triggers our deepest emotions,” said David Ciani, general manager of the hotel. “Over the last 30 or so years, we've just had an overwhelming amount of people who've come to visit [King’s] inspiration."

Now the hotel wants to inspire a new generation by building a film center dedicated to the horror genre.

“There's no doubt that there’s a need for a home, a permanent home for the genre and that people around the world will flock to the center,” Philippe said.

Plans for the $24 million facility put it next to the historic carriage house and just down the main road from the Stanley Hotel.

“It's it an ideal location because it's a location that has ties to the horror genre that people around the world know and recognize," Philippe said.

The 43,000-square-foot Stanley Film Center would feature an auditorium and sound stage, interactive museum, rotating exhibits, classrooms, workshops, post production and editing suites, and horror film archive.

“We're talking about drawing hundreds of thousands of new visitors from around the world that are going to spend money in Estes Park. They are going to spend money in northern Colorado and in the Front Range and create thousands of new jobs,” said Reed Rowley, vice president of the Grand Heritage Hotel Group.

“We're talking truly about a game changer, not just for Estes Park but for the state of Colorado,” Philippe said.

The center’s founding board boasts some of the biggest names in horror film, including Elijah Wood, Simon Pegg, George A. Romero, Mick Garris, Josh Waller and Daniel Noah.

The project has applied for an $11.5 million credit through the state of Colorado’s Regional Tourism Act, which would be generated through film center sales tax. A yes vote from the state would close a project funding gap and give Colorado a first-of-its-kind film center, creating a global, year-round horror destination.

A house of horrors that they hope will be picture perfect.