Boulder Dam Hotel

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DSC_74131305 Arizona St  Boulder City, Nevada 89005

In Colossus:

“In mid-April 1933, at the time of year when southern Nevada’s climate is at its least intolerable, the chamber of commerce counted 1,500 tourists registered at hotels and auto camps within the city limits, a record up to that time.” Page 349

In Real Life:

In the early 1930’s – according to Michael Hiltzik in Colossus, the building of Boulder Dam was all the rage, all across America. It was written about, talked about and characters like Frank Crow – the Chief Engineer on the project became a household name. The fascination created a desire to see the thing and suddenly the dam project became a tourist attraction and everybody – celebrities and regular people alike rushed out to see it. So, I wanted to find a place where at least some of them stayed – and I found Boulder Dam Hotel, which opened in 1933. I flew into Las Vegas at the crack of dawn and met my sister who came in on another flight. We drove straight to the Boulder City Visitor Center to pick up a cool map that’s unbelievably not available online. Then we went over to the hotel to look around. It’s a little dated, but still solid – I mean it’s been through a lot. It had some great years as a hot resort for dam visitors but by World War II the hotel was housing soldiers. After the war, it never regained its early popularity because – among other reasons – up the road a little ways, Las Vegas was booming. However – in 1993, Boulder City made moves to save the hotel and now it’s a quaint throwback and good choice as a place to stay to trip on Colossus. Oh, and yes – one more thing about the hotel – the place seems to be haunted.

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