A new vacation rental with Old West history is open for overnight stays for locals and tourists alike.

Cottage on Boot Hill, located at 406 W. Spruce Street, owned by Tracy and Ross Smith, the rental began with the couple turning their hobby of do-it-yourself house projects into a prime destination for Dodge City.

"With a blend of our hobbies, we dreamed that we should find an old house to fix up and turn it into a vacation rental," Tracy Smith said. "We could give it a Western decor, to give tourists and guests an extra taste of our Western heritage. We passively watched the Boot Hill neighborhood for years.

"It was last winter when we noticed a 1925's bungalow for sale located just north of the museum. We decided to give the idea a whirl and purchased the property in March of this year."

It would be easy to confuse Cottage on Boot Hill with Boot Hill Bed & Breakfast, being that both locations are a stone's throw away from one another.

"It's easily confused as we're in the same neighborhood, even on the same street," Tracy Smith said. "Not only are we different in name and location, but we offer a slightly different type of a stay. We're considered a vacation rental home, where guests are renting the entire house to themselves; so there are no shared rooms.

"We're a different experience from a hotel even, allowing guests to spread out a little more with a living room, dining room and kitchen."

Despite growing up outside of Dodge City, The Smiths have always considered Dodge City as their home.

"Growing up around here, I don't think I ever realized the true impact that Dodge City had to the American Old West," Tracy Smith said. "It was in college when I began to appreciate our rich history, when I had the opportunity to study abroad in Spain. It was neat to still be able to tell Europeans that you were from Dodge City, and they knew where you talking about.

"If one wasn't familiar with "Gunsmoke" and Dodge City, then I'd tell them 'Kansas' and they'd be asking where Toto and my red slipper went."

The couple returned to Dodge City after college, which led to turning their passion for travel and history into the Cottage on Boot Hill with, "a stronger appreciation of the place we called home."

Taking nearly seven months to complete, Tracy Smith said not all of it was done with just herself and husband.

"We could have never done it without the help of so many," she said. "From our detailed realtor, to all of our contractors, and our family and friends that volunteered their time; we appreciate their help to make this dream a reality."

Along with a fully equipped kitchen and laundry, Cottage on Boot Hill provides basic toiletries, two bedrooms and a spa-like bathroom.

"Guests in town for a wedding or holiday might choose to book The Cottage for a night or for a weekend," Tracy Smith said. "Other visitors might be in town for a few weeks and looking for more of a homey atmosphere.

"The obvious guest to us is our tourists, and giving them a comfortable place to stay, while enjoying a little more of our Western heritage."

The vacation rental is set in a prime location, according to Tracy Smith, with many attractions and businesses within walking distance near Boot Hill Museum and downtown Dodge City.

"We had fun incorporating a coffee bar at The Cottage, but it's hard to pass up a rich cup over at Red Beard Coffee," Tracy Smith said. "We love Saturday mornings strolling through Boot Hill Antiques, and we hope our guests come to these things, too. The Cottage is located between Boot Hill Distillery and Dodge City Brewing, and don't forget about the sarsaparillas over at the Long Branch Saloon, either.

"We are ecstatic to now be up and running."

Locals and guests can follow Cottage on Boot Hill on Facebook at, www.facebook.com/cottageonboothill/ for updates and giveaways.

To book a stay, the listing can also be found on Airbnb.com or HomeAway.com.


Editor's Note: This story is part of the Good News Initiative where the Dodge City Daily Globe will be highlighting a positive news story daily, sponsored by First Dental of Dodge City.

To send inquiries of possible positive news stories, email managing editor Vincent Marshall at vmarshall@dodgeglobe.com