In its heyday, the hotel was a hub of activity for the city's leading citizens, as well as Hollywood royalty. In 1927, Charles Lindbergh was honored with a reception at the hotel following his transatlantic flight. Earlier that year, Buster Keaton spent several weeks in the hotel while filming a movie.
The hotel hosted its share of political luminaries as well. Governors Ronald Reagan and Jerry Brown and Presidents Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter each visited the hotel. It was just outside the hotel in 1975 that President Gerald Ford was the target of an assassination attempt by Manson family member Squeaky Fromme.
Despite being added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979, the hotel closed a few weeks later and remained shuttered for several years. It reopened in 1983 as office space for lobbyists, giving them easy access to the capitol. In recent years, there have been talks about restoring the building and reopening it as a hotel, but as recently as 2015 the property was for sale.