by Cheryl Ferrence, President
Boulder City Museum and Historical Association
The Historic Boulder Dam Hotel
Twelve years ago, with a suggestion by two community members, a group of citizens set up a plan to save the historic Boulder Dam Hotel. Many buildings in Southern Nevada had been imploded and they wanted to see our historic hotel revitalized rather than leveled.
In the beginning a loosely knit group, the Friends of the Hotel, held several meetings. Soon the non profit 501c3 Boulder Dam Hotel Association, Inc. was formed. The corporation is made up of the City of Boulder City, the Boulder City Chamber of Commerce, the Boulder City Arts Council and the Boulder City Museum & Historical Association ("BCMHA").
The Hotel Association purchased the hotel and began the extensive “adaptive reuse” of the hotel that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The plans included space for the Boulder City/Hoover Dam Museum and gift shop, the Art Guild Gallery, Chamber of Commerce offices, office spaces, retail shops, a restaurant/lounge, a conference room, 21 hotel rooms, and a management apartment.
The Hotel Association applied for grants and held fund raising events, and in June of 2001 the basic plan was complete. The hotel rooms were reopened. The community helped with monetary donations and thousands of volunteer hours. Upon completion, the hotel was accepted into the Historic Hotels of America by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Beginning last fall, the Board of Directors of the Boulder City Museum & Historical Association agreed to work with the other members of the Hotel Association to find a way to insure that the commitment made by the community to preserve the hotel was continued. The conclusion was for the Boulder City Museum & Historical Association to take full responsibility for the hotel. On September 9, 2005 the Boulder City Museum & Historical Association became the sole owner of the hotel. The BCMHA plans to utilize the hotel as a complete historical experience making it a destination for locals and visitors.
The articles of incorporation of the hotel association include promoting tourism within the city and the state; preserving the historic structure; having the hotel available for the use of Boulder City cultural organizations; and providing or promoting training or knowledge in the arts and humanities. BCMHA will honor that mission and combine it with our own.
BCMHA’s purpose is to bring together citizens, community, social, fraternal and service organizations, schools, and the business community in a strong alliance to further common historical interests and to promote and awareness of historical heritage through exhibits, archival research materials and variety of educational programs designed to serve specific interests of the community.
Boulder City has a rich and exciting history with the building of Hoover Dam and our unique community. The Boulder City/Hoover Dam Museum maintains historical documents and artifacts for the community. Researchers from all over the world visit Boulder City. If you read a book or watch a film about Hoover Dam on PBS, the Travel Channel, the Discovery Channel or the History Channel, you will probably see a credit to BCMHA or Dennis McBride. We look forward to researchers staying at the hotel and experiencing our history first hand.
The hotel is currently host to a number of retail shops, including Charlee’s Boutique, Reclamation, the Boulder City/Hoover Dam Museum Store, the Art Guild Gallery and Hollywood Gems, along with hotel rooms, business offices and Matteo’s Restaurant and Underground Lounge.
BCMHA is moving forward with renewed energy and vision. We hope to rekindle the community spirit that made saving the hotel possible. That spirit, the same spirit of the builders of Hoover Dam, remains today. With the community’s help, we hope that future generations will continue to keep the 31r’s spirit alive.
Join the BCMHA on a fund raising cruise to Hawaii. The Island Princess, a Princess Cruise Lines ship, will sail from Los Angeles on January 21, 2005 and return on February 5, 2006 for a 15 day round trip cruise including all taxes, port charges and transportation from Boulder City, starting at $2095 per person. Call Peggy Caspar at (702) 293-9984 or Bill Smith at (702) 294-2240 for more details.
For more information about BCMHA and how you can become a member or help, check out our web site at bcmha.org or stop by the Boulder City/Hoover Dam Museum located in the historic Boulder Dam Hotel at 1305 Arizona St., Boulder City, Nevada 89005. Write to us at this address or call (702) 294-1988.