Clippings courtesy of the Custer County Chief
The Historic Arrow Hotel was built on 1928 by a group of private citizens to service the needs of the railroad. It replaced the old Commercial Hotel, and was the first three-story building in Broken Bow. The street-level consisted of the lobby, restaurant, beauty salon, barbershop, ladies dress shop and a ballroom. The second and third floors held fifty-two sleeping rooms with public baths at the end of the halls.

In 1932 an additional twenty sleeping rooms were added bringing the total to seventy-two. Shortly thereafter, the great depression hit Broken Bow, and the hotel was sold.

Original Coffee Shop

1928 Dining Hall

Early 20th century Arrow Hotel Lobby

In 1984, after years of disrepair, Ray Brown, who had been a boy at the time the hotel was erected, had a vision of renovating the structure to extend its future. He convinced other community members to join his effort to raise renovation funds. The original seventy-two rooms were converted into twenty-three apartments to be marketed to retirees.

When this idea did not prove successful, the investors decided to return the business back to a hotel with the apartments becoming suites. The barbershop became a small meeting room, the dress shop was converted into a convention room, and the beauty salon became a small bar. The beauty salon was then moved into a portion of the old ballroom where it still remains today.

The restaurant also received a face-lift with new booths built from the original hotel room doors complete with the vintage room numbers. The Arrow Hotel was also added to the National Registry of Historic Places at this time.

In 2005 another group of investors joined Ray Brown again to do additional renovation. This time the main concentration was on the street-level of the building. The vision of the new owners was to invoke a traditional western hotel motif and traditional copper tile ceiling. The front desk is reminiscent of the original 1928 era with columns and granite top. The exterior was returned to its vintage look as well with an awning and lantern-style lighting.

Arrow Hotel lobby today

The restaurant, now called the Bonfire Grill, gained space when the small bar was moved to the convention room. Renamed the Bonfire Pub, the back bar area was also built from the vintage hotel room doors. The Bonfire Grill and Pub prides itself on serving the highest quality food and beverages. The small meeting room was converted to a traditional-style cigar room complete with a state-of-the-art filtration system as the Pub and restaurant are smoke free. The Cigar room is decorated with comfortable swivel leather chairs, a stained glass window, and western-themed art. This room also contains the only signed mural by Tom Talbott, Broken Bow’s most famous artist, and whose father owned the hotel when Tom was young.

Bonfire Pub

After the street-level renovation was completed in 2006, the guest suites and rooms were painted and the decor updated. This is an ongoing process with additional improvements such as the complete installation of new windows designed to resemble the original hotel windows.

Arrow Hotel street view

The owners invite you to enjoy this unique experience and history as the Arrow is not just a hotel, but truly a destination!
Condensed Timeline
  • Arrow Hotel was built in 1928 entirely by local capital.

  • In 1932, 72 rooms were available.

  • The Great Depression forced the original investors to sell the property, but it continued to operate as a hotel.

  • In 1984, Ray Brown, a local developer rescued the structure and raised funds for renovation.

  • The 72 rooms were converted into 23 apartments for retirees. The business strategy was a failure, so the building was returned back to a hotel.

  • The Arrow Hotel was listed on the National Registry of Historic Places.

  • In 2005, more renovations were made to invoke the traditional elegant western style of the hotel.

  • The hotel restaurant became the Bonfire Grill and Pub.

  • In 2006, the decor was updated and there is on-going cosmetic changes.