ABOUT HOTEL LABONTE
The Hotel LaBonte was built in 1913 to replace the Valley House Hotel that was torn down due to the construction of the Burlington Railroad. A group of Douglas business men formed the Douglas Hotel Company to finance the construction. The name "LaBonte" was chosen due to its meaning of bountiful and also in honor of Pierre LaBonte, who was supposedly Converse County's first resident.
On January 26, 1914 H.O. "Burt" Emery opened the Hotel LaBonte for business. With furniture from the Denver Dry Goods Company, billiard tables and bar from the Brunswick-Balke company the hotel was considered first class. (The original back bar can now be seen at the Wyoming Pioneer Museum, located a few blocks from the Hotel). The Hotel originally featured 54 guest rooms on the upper floors and a kitchen and dining room in the east wing of the ground floor and a barber shop and billiards hall/bar in the west wing.
In 1967 the third floor was converted to apartments, while the second floor was remodeled to have bathrooms in each room. The bar was also moved from the west to the east wing at this time. In 1982 a fire damaged the hotel, but it was repaired and updated with modern conveniences. In 1984 the dance hall/events room was added in what had previously been the courtyard.
The Events Room is now known as The Yard, with shuffle board, ping pong, darts, pool, & electronic games. In the 2015 renovation, the Lobby, Restaurant , and Rooms, were updated. Hotel LaBonte is on the National Historic Register.