The Local newsletter is your free, daily guide to life in Colorado. For locals, by locals. Sign up today!
The Stanley Hotel wasn’t so much a haunted house as it was a ghost town when a young writer and his wife stayed there in 1974—one day before the resort closed for the season. That isolation inspired Stephen King’s The Shining, which inspired Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, which led to a new golden age for the Stanley, established in 1909, as visitors flocked to the Overlook Hotel’s spooky muse in Estes Park. What tourists didn’t find, however, was a memorable piece of scenery from the film: a giant hedge maze that (spoiler alert) spells the end for Jack, the psychotic innkeeper. The omission was remedied this summer when the Stanley installed a 10,100-square-foot juniper labyrinth in front of the hotel. The design, decided through a contest that attracted 329 entries from 34 countries, came from Mairim Dallaryan Standing, a New York City architect who cleverly incorporated an “S” and an “H” into her layout. The maze will undergo a major test on October 24 during the Shining Ball, when approximately 300 guests descend on the Stanley for music, drinks, and a costume contest. (There will also be a Halloween masquerade party on October 31.) The maze is free for all comers, all day, every day, too. Just be forewarned: The Stanley doesn’t intend to let the junipers get too tall (they’re currently about three feet high), so the “maze” aspect might be limited to visitors younger than four or so.