A BIG STORY SINCE DAY ONE
In 1912, Independence, Kansas was one of the wealthiest cities in the nation with the highest number of millionaires per capita in the USA. The newly built Booth Hotel was the epicenter of the thriving economy. Over the years, Presidents Franklin Roosevelt, William Taft, Dwight Eisenhower, and Ronald Reagan stayed at the Booth. Celebrities, too, took residence at the Booth. Gene Autry stayed here when he played Memorial Hall in the 1940s.
Independence was settled on land purchased from the Osage Indians in 1869 by George A. Brown for $50. The Tribe was being relocated to Indian Territory in present-day Oklahoma. The new community was named Independence to commemorate the Declaration of Independence.
Every event at the Booth is special.
The Booth Hotel at 201 W. Main St. in Independence, Kansas opened its doors in 1912. In 1983, the Booth was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, a tribute to its cultural and architectural significance.
The 110-year old Grande Dame of Hospitality.
The Booth was the first steel-framed concrete building west of the Mississippi River, revolutionary at that time. The building featured 80+ hotel suites. This was the address for any event that mattered.
The quiet years.
After a 50+ year run, the Booth closed in the 1960s and sat empty for two decades. In the mid-1980s, a company purchased the building and spared it from the wrecking ball spending close to $6M renovating it (in 2022 that’s $21M+). The 80+ hotel suites were transformed into 20 luxury apartments and a six-story glass atrium was added. No expense was spared to build out an enormous commercial kitchen plus conference/concert venue. The plan was to open the thirteenth Michelin five-star rated restaurant in the U.S. Sadly, that company went bankrupt in 1995 and the hotel passed through several iterations of owners. At the turn of the Millenium, the event rooms were closed due to water damage.
Staking new claim.
In 2007, David and Linda Grice of Independence purchased the building and brought back its former grandeur.
In 2022, the current owners have begun to implement positive enhancements to the building to restore the Booth Hotel’s place at the center of all that matters in Independence today.
Palatial from the start.
Right from the start, the Booth was a grand icon of style. Guests enter through a gorgeous wood-revolving door, created in 1909 by the Atchison Revolving Door Company of Independence. The 14-foot-high ceilings on the main feature intricately carved Romanesque plaster cornices in sixteen delicate patterns and wall frieze embellishments reminiscent of Europe’s finest palaces. Italian mosaic tiles – some as small as 1” x 1”— were individually laid throughout the first floor, exclusive of the Ballroom. The elegant lobby, restaurant and pool table rooms are tiled in Art Deco-inspired green and gold wainscoting. And the massive Ballroom features a parquet floor expansive enough to seat 200 guests for a formal dinner plus a dance floor. The frosting on the entire venue is the dozens of dazzling Italian chandeliers overhead, draped in thousands of crystals.
On the lower level of the hotel, another large meeting space can seat 400 or accommodate 1,000 for a stand-up cocktail party. Named the President's Room, it can be divided into three smaller meeting rooms—the Roosevelt Room, the Taft Room and the Landon Room (for former Kansas Governor Alf Landon.) All stayed at the Booth Hotel.
The inner sanctum of the atrium lobby is the cocktail lounge, a magnet for conversation. Guests and residents gather here.
Second to sixth floors at the Booth feature spacious apartments ranging from 1,100 to 1,800 square feet. All bathrooms include a Jacuzzi tub, pedestal sink and ceramic floor and wall tile. The larger floor plans include a half-bath in addition to the master bath. The airy living spaces have large windows with endless views of Independence. Some apartments have sliding glass doors opening up to sizable private balconies. Each apartment is totally electric with individual water source heat pumps and water heaters. Private covered parking is a privilege of residents.
On the main level of the hotel, two retail spaces on premises offer convenient professional beauty salon and nail salon services.