Rainbow Gardens History has a great and exciting history dating back to the late 1800’s. Today, Rainbow Gardens is still owned by the King family, with Robert W. King serving as CEO and five children in retail and restaurant management positions. They extend a warm welcome to all for “Gifts, Food, and Fun.”
Receiving visitors has been the “grand tradition” of Rainbow Gardens since the 1890’s, when the discovery of natural hot springs here drew crowds of health-seeking bathers to the waters of Ogden Canyon Resort—our ‘landmark’ is rich in history!
OGDEN CANYON RESORT 1895-1927
Situated at the mouth of the magnificent Ogden Canyon, just below Rainbow Falls, the Rainbow Gardens
location and its thermal springs were venerated by the Native American tribes long before the first fur
trappers or pioneers came into Ogden Valley.
In 1895, the first formal building commenced on what would become the Ogden Canyon Sanitarium and
Resort. The establishment featured private mineral baths, hotel and dining rooms, and a dance hall.
Finally completed in 1906, the large wooden Victorian structure burned to the ground in 1927.
EL MONTE SPRINGS 1928-1932
In 1928, the entrepreneur A.V. Smith bought the resort and rebuilt it in brick, naming it “El Monte
Springs”. The resort again featured mineral baths, but this time a large (100,000 gallons) swimming pool
and a grand ballroom were added. Marathon dances were held in the ballroom during the late ’20’s.
Unfortunately, the Great Depression put and end to Smith’s plans and El Monte shut its doors in 1932.
RIVERSIDE GARDENS 1942-1946
The resort lay dormant through the depression until it was purchased by Harman W. Peery, Ogden’s
Cowboy Mayor in 1942. He renamed it Riverside Gardens and billed it as the “Kochbrunnen of America”,
offering swimming and dancing.
In 1946, the resort was turned over to Harm’s son-in-law and daughter, Robert W. King and Rosanne
Peery King: and the name was again changed (for the last time) to Rainbow Gardens. The Kings began
the restoration of the old Victorian Spa: and for 25 years, Rainbow Gardens operated as a resort,
including indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a ballroom and 18 bowling lanes.
RAINBOW GARDENS 1946-PRESENT
In 1970, Rosanne Peery King opened “Rainbow Imports” in the old Ballroom, featuring gifts from
around the world. In 1975, the old indoor swimming pool became the sunken “Gift Garden”, a terraced
solarium, filled with plants and gifts. The following spring, “The Greenery” Restaurant opened. Now one
of Ogden’s finest restaurants, the Greenery serves award-winning food to over 500 patrons daily.
Another era ended in 1996, when after 35 years, the “Rainbow Lanes” gave way to the new Planet
Rainbow project. The Utah Book Nooks opened in mid-1998. The first phase of this new retail food and
event center, Planet Rainbow is the State’s largest collection of Utah Books, Regional Souvenirs and Gifts.
It is a delightful destination for local visitors and out-of-town guests alike.
Today, Rainbow Gardens is still owned by the King family, with Robert W. King serving as CEO and five
children in retail and restaurant management positions. They extend a warm welcome to all for “Gifts,
Food, and Fun”.
Receiving visitors has been the “grand tradition” of Rainbow Gardens since the 1890’s, when the
discovery of natural hot springs here drew crowds of health-seeking bathers to the waters of Ogden
Canyon Resort—our ‘landmark’ is rich in history!
We personally invite you to join us at Rainbow Gardens for a visit.
Stroll through our Gift Garden, a conservatory of exotic plants and flowers; waltz through the old Dance
Ballroom and peruse the delightful collection of gifts in our many fun boutiques; then enjoy the delicious cuisine of “The Greenery” Restaurant.
Rainbow Gardens History