Buffalo Bill helped found Cody, Wyoming in 1895, and established his TE Ranch in the area. In 1902, he built the Irma Hotel, which he called –"just the sweetest hotel that ever was." Buffalo Bill maintained two suites and an office at the hotel for his personal use.
When the Burlington Railroad completed a spur line into Cody, his plan was to have travelers stay at Buffalo Bill’s Hotels in the Rockies on their way to the east gate of Yellowstone National Park. They included the Irma Hotel in Cody, near the railroad; Wapiti Inn (a day’s wagon ride west) and Pahaska Teepee near the East gate of the park.
The Irma Hotel is listed on the National Register of Historic Places by the National Park Service, in recognition of its contribution to the cultural foundations of America. It was designed by Alfred Wilderman Woods, a Lincoln, Nebraska church architect. Certain exterior walls are made of river rock and locally quarried sandstone from Beck Lake just south of town. The fireplace is an assemblage of rock, ores, minerals, and fossils from the Big Horn Basin.
The Irma’s famous cherrywood bar dates to the period of construction and is one of the most photographed features in all of Cody. The original part of the hotel was built for Buffalo Bill in 1902. The northwest addition was constructed in 1929, and the southwest addition was added in 1976-1977.