The Melrose Hotel
The Melrose Hotel is a boutique hotel in downtown Grand Junction currently with 16 rooms. The two-story brick building was constructed in 1908 as a hotel and was expanded onto the adjacent lot in 1911. The history has been marred by a murder in an owner's family in the 1990s that might have occurred in the hotel. While the Melrose Hotel is not listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it is on the City of Grand Junction's Register of Historic Sites, Structures, and Districts. The Melrose is the only one of the twelve historic hotels in town that still operates as a hotel.
Backstory and Context
The Melrose Hotel is the sole survivor of twelve historic hotels that once operated in Grand Junction and still is a hotel. The hotel was built in 1908 by James William Ponsford and his two sons. The building was doubled in size in 1911 after it expanded onto an adjacent lot. The hotel boasted running water in every room by the late 1920s. The Ponsford family retained ownership of the hotel until 1993.
The Melrose Hotel was one of four hotels on its block - the 300s on the south side of Colorado Avenue - in the 1910s. The larger and better-known St. Regis Hotel occupied the corner and the Melrose was three doors down. The brick building on the adjacent lot served as the Melrose's restaurant in 1912.
Don't let the old-timey décor fool you - the Melrose Hotel now offers wi-fi and cable television. The hotel features a shared kitchen and dining room and a spacious sitting area. There is an outdoor patio for grilling. Restored telephone booths grace each floor. Part of the hotel operates as a hostel, with visitors from across the globe staying here. The hotel is just a three-minute walk away from the Museum of the West.
Some say the basement of the Melrose Hotel is haunted and that a murder occurred there. The hotel's owner, Joya De Pasquale, invited the ghost hunting team from the television show "Ghost Adventures" to the hotel for a paranormal investigation. The team spent four days checking out the spirits in November of 2018 and the episode aired on the Travel Channel in March 2019. The quintessential ghost, a lady in a white dress, has reportedly been seen by some hanging around the hotel. De Pasquale, who lives on the top floor of the hotel, suspects the late wife of the owner from whom she bought the hotel, twenty years ago, may be the source of some of the mischief, of doors opening by themselves. The previous owner was charged with the murder of his wife and later confessed; only her skull has been found, on a ranch in another county. You can check out the episode (video link below) and decide for yourself what you believe.
"Is Hotel Melrose haunted?." The Daily Sentinel (Grand Junction, CO) March 16th 2019. online ed.
McDivitt, Lisa. Threshold to History: Hotel Melrose, KKCO 11 News. April 24th 2009. Accessed February 25th 2020. https://www.nbc11news.com/home/headlines/43621452.html.