Kansas City & Unit 131 Bridge History
    Bygone but not Forgotten
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There have been so many places over the years that have held tournaments that evoke great memories
and stories connected to them. Here are a few but I'm sure there
are many in our experience that are memorable.
Hotel Robideux in St Joseph Missouri
Circa 1960's, 1970's
When I started playing in 1966 this was one of the first tournaments that I attended. Only a fifty mile
drive from KC to downtown ST Joe. This place was a historic site dating back to the pony express.
In fact the bar was called the Pony Express Bar and was a gathering
place for the consumption of adult beverages and social encounters.
This historic hotel was opened in 1908 and closed in January 1976.
It met it's tragic end by implosion in June 1976 to become a parking lot.

Lobby area and Grand Stairway
of the Hotel Robidoux

Main Dining Room
Oak Room on north
Black Angus Room on South

Fountain at the Grand Stairway

                 Al Sobel directed many tournaments in the ballroom and played piano to
                 entertain when bridge was over. There was an elegance to the decor and
                 atmosphere of this hotel. I played here many years and always had a great
                 time although don't remember doing all that well. Party was on my mind
                 at this time of life and it lasted long into the night. I had not much
                 money so there was a few night spent sleeping in the linen closet with my
                 friends. We all scattered in the morning when the maid arrived to
                 obtain supplies. What fun, what fun.

The Robidoux Hotel

It was criminal to implode this structure.

Strand Hotel in Chillicothe Missouri
Pre 1960's
When I started playing in 1966 this was one of the tournaments that was talked about but not on the schedule any more.
Can't give a good time line for years when they took place or how many there were.
I never attended one but was told they were wild, fun, and well attended.
After the night session everyone went to their room and opened their door and partied.
Parties and people going from room to room until the wee hours of the night.
This historic hotel was opened in 1925 and changed to apartments in 2004.
The building is a national historic listing.

Strand Hotel today is
Strand Apartments

Strand Hotel 1933
Theater next door

Hotel Strand Big Sign

Hotel Strand at the top

Fontenelle Hotel Omaha Nebraska
Pre 1970's

                 This was a grand hotel and the premier hotel in Omaha Nebraska.
                 It was closed in 1971 and demolished in in 1980's. The reason it was
                 special to me was that in 1969 I was playing with Don Brooker in a
                 Masters Pairs at this hotel in a Omaha Regional and in the second
                 session we topped our section to win 3.5 red points and I became a life
                 master. We did not win the event but sitting our direction in our
                 section was Paul Orlett and Regis Robertson from Kansas City and they
                 did win the event.

The Fontenelle Hotel

Glenwood Manor Motor Motel
Pre 1970's

          This was a great tournament site at 93rd and Metcalf.
          Many regionals and sectionals were played here.
          Great facilities to play bridge and to party.
          There were dances and open bar after the last session
          and partys until 2:00AM. It was party central.
          opened in 1966 and closed in 2000.

The Glenwood Manor

aerial shot

The Glenwood Manor

postcard about 1969-1970

Chase Park Plaza St Louis Missouri

          This was a place that held regionals and at
          least one national bridge tournament.
          This place is located on Kingshighway and
          has not been used by St Louis as a site in
          many years. Time line was circa the 1970's.
          There was a national there in 1973 and I can
          remember being low on cash as usual. I don't
          remember who was paying for the room, but there
          were 20 + people staying in the room. When the
          party at night finally died and the lights went
          out, there was not a square foot of empty space
          on the floor. I think Tom Lux got the best bed
          which was the bath tub.As you can imagine
          the mornings were chaotic using the bath room
          to get ready for the next day.
          What fun we had !
          What fun we had !!
          What fun we had !!!

Chase Park Plaza

Exterior View.

Chase Park Plaza

Pool View



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