As legend would have it, some big names have stayed there. Presidents. Actors. Notorious criminals.
And now it’s for sale.
For the price tag of a mere $1.5 million, Hope Hotel is on the market.
With sweeping views of Lake Pend Oreille, the historic hotel, with 15 rooms, a restaurant and bar, is up for sale.
“I’m hoping to find the right buyer,” says owner John Ross. “I’m looking for somebody with the gumption and ambition to make it work.”
Built in 1897, Hotel Hope is the oldest brick building in Bonner County, according to Ross.
“This beautiful two-story 9,460-square-foot building combines unique architecture with commercial and residential mixed-use potential,” boasts Ross on his website seeking a buyer. “The building was renovated in 1998 including new plumbing, electrical and mechanical systems.”
Ross, 67, who spends his off-time in Arizona, says he and his wife are ready to retire from the hotel business. Hotel Hope has been closed for several years.
According to a 2009 column written by the late Bonner County historian Bob Gunter, the origins for a hotel in the community date back to 1882 when Hope boomed with the coming of the railroad. Hope had only a few families and some Indians living in the area before the Northern Pacific moved its division point from Heron, Mont.
The move resulted in over-night growth and Hope became a center of activity, Gunter wrote.
In the early days, the Northern Pacific Railroad built Highland House in Hope as a luxury hotel. The hotel was three stories high and it was publicized as a place for people from the east to come for recreation and relaxation. The most famous visitor to stay at the hotel was General William Sherman of Civil War fame.
In the early days of Hope, gambling and drinking was the order of the day, wrote Gunter, adding that at one time, there were seven saloons in a one-block area. One of the popular saloons was located in the old Jeannot Hotel that Joseph Jeannot built overlooking beautiful Lake Pend Oreille. The hotel was built circa 1897 and provided 14 rooms to travelers. A two-story wooden porch once spanned the front of the building that gave the visitors a breathtaking view of the lake and mountains. Located about 15 minutes outside of Sandpoint on Highway Business Route 200, Ross says visitors have included dignitaries including Teddy Roosevelt, Bing Crosby, JP Morgan and Gary Cooper.
“It’s got a lot of history,” he says.