Fifty years on, couple still loves Park City
When Bobbi Allen was rummaging through some of her old keepsakes ahead of her 50th wedding anniversary with her husband, Rod Allen, she stumbled across a hotel receipt from the night of their wedding in Park City.
The receipt showed the newlyweds stayed in Room 7 of the Treasure Mountain Inn for $22.77 on May 31, 1968. On the receipt, the hotel’s management wrote, “Congratulations. Come see us on your 50th.”
The pair planned on taking a cruise to celebrate the milestone, but Rod suffered a medical issue that briefly landed him in the emergency room in St. George, where the couple lives. The episode forced the pair to settle for a more low-key week in Ogden.
But, Bobbi kept thinking about the Treasure Mountain Inn receipt.
“So one day I thought I would just call when he wasn’t at home,” she said during an interview on June 2. “I told them, ‘I feel silly about calling, but I just wanted to tell you our story.’ They ended up inviting us to stay. I figured we couldn’t pass that up.”
With the help of the hotel’s management, Bobbie planned for her and Rod to stay in Park City the night of their anniversary. However, Rod continued to experience health issues and wanted to head home early.
“I was very tearful and finally had to tell him that I had an amazing surprise for him,” she said. “I told him his health is more important, but once I told him what it was he agreed we could stay.”
On their second day in town, the couple sat down at the hotel and recounted how they met and, ultimately, fell in love.
‘She was dating my roommate’
Bobbi and Rod met while they were attending Brigham Young University in Provo in 1963. Bobbi, who was taking a night class while she was working at Geneva Steel, was dating Rod’s roommate, Paul, at the time.
“We were in the parking lot and Rod pulls up with Paul and my girlfriends all say, ‘Rod your back in town,’” she said. “And so I said, ‘Rod welcome back.’ But, he had no idea who I was.”
They later ended up reconnecting at a school dance where Rod asked Bobbi if he could take her home. But, he didn’t have a car so he drove her 1965 Mustang.
“That’s why I say it was love at first sight,” she said. “Only he didn’t notice me, he noticed the car.”
A ring toss
Bobbie and Rod dated off and on for about two years before they started discussing marriage. The spent their time riding motorcycles, hiking Bridal Veil Falls and attending shows in Park City.
As Rod prepared to move to Chicago after graduation, he stopped by Bobbi’s and tossed her a bag with a box in it.
“I was on the front lawn where I was living and he throws the bag to me and I thought, ‘Well this is a beautiful ring set,” she said.
But, Rod didn’t want her to wear the ring until he was gone. He admitted he didn’t want to get a bad reputation, but realized he may have gotten one with his proposal. The pair laugh about it now.
While the two were now engaged, Bobbi said, wedding plans weren’t progressing as quickly as she would have liked.
“His dad actually said Rod has a hard time making a decision so I gave him an ultimatum,” she said. “I told him either we get married or I am joining the airlines.”
Rod told Bobbi to set a date, but he had no intentions of following through with it. He said he enjoyed being single.
“All of a sudden plans were in place and I said, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m trapped,” he said. “And I’ve been trapped for 50 years. But, I have no regrets whatsoever. I would do it all over again.”
The couple exchanged vows at the Salt Lake Temple.
‘It’s been a fantasy’
Rod described his marriage as a fantasy as he recounted early camping trips and even first arguments.
“Falling in love is a small part of romance,” he said. “The secret for me is you love the other person more than yourself. It is not a 50/50 relationship. Sometimes we get off centered in our relationship, but you have to learn how to smooth through those occasions.
“She’s more than I expected and she’s a gentle, sweet and loving person,” he added.
The couple has four children — ages 47, 44, 38 and 35 — that they raised in Southern California and now eight grandchildren. They moved back to Utah about eight years ago.
Bobbi and Rod arrived in Park City on the day of their anniversary and checked in to Room 7 — the same room they stayed in the night of their wedding. Treasure Mountain Inn’s management was happy to welcome the couple back to the hotel to help them celebrate the occasion.
“When we heard more of their story, we wanted to make it special for them. It’s not every day you can welcome a couple celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary to one of your properties, especially a couple that has such a special connection to the property,” said Pat Quigley, managing partner and general manager of Lespri, which operates Treasure Mountain Inn.
While the surprise didn’t quite pan out the way Bobbi had envisioned, she said it was fitting because neither did their courtship. But, the love and admiration the couple shares for each other is evident. They finish each other’s sentences and take turns telling stories of how they met. Some encounters vary, depending on who’s memory it is.
“He didn’t think we would make it to 50 years, but I always just assumed that we would,” Bobbi said. “It really has been enchanting.”
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Summit County officials declared their potential conflicts of interest, with Councilors Doug Clyde and Chris Robinson offering the most extensive lists on the County Council.