A hotel in O'Neill offers a comfortable place to stay in Holt County, and it's a place where some legends still linger.
We talked with owner Christine Carman about the hotel. It's located in a busy spot, where Highways 20, 275 and 281 meet. Carman says before the Golden Hotel was built, there was another hotel in town. People who were settling in the area were staying there as their homes were being constructed. It turns out, there weren't enough rooms for travelers. After some discussion, a local man named T.V. Golden built a new hotel, which still stands today. "In 1913, they opened for business," Carman said.
One of the legends that surrounds the hotel is that Chicago gangster Al Capone stayed there while visiting brothers in the area. However, Carman says there's really no evidence of it. There's also a connection to Al Capone in that a prosecutor who worked on the Capone case lived and worked in O'Neill. But again, Carman says there's no real proof Al Capone was at the Golden.
Carman does say the hotel has remained true to its roots for many years. The tile on the floor in the lobby is original. "This lobby is pretty much like it was," Carman said. "There used to be 50 some rooms, and they all shared two bathrooms on each floor. Over time, people have taken out walls and added bathrooms. There are 22 beds now, and 18 rooms."
Owners have worked hard to upgrade the hotel, and make it even more inviting to visitors. "We've got one room on the third floor that we made into a holiday room," Carman said. "It's got a jaccuzi, and we used four rooms to make it. We took out walls. It's a really popular room."
The Golden Hotel is a popular spot to watch the St. Patrick's Day parade in O'Neill each year. If you're in O'Neill, feel free to step inside the lobby for a look at a local landmark.