A History Lesson

Hotel Boulderado

An elegant structure with a storied past, the Hotel Boulderado is a testament to Boulder’s culture and resiliency. From renovations to hauntings to famous visitors and guests, the Hotel Boulderado stoically weathered the economic ups and downs of the 20th century and continues to thrive as a luxurious destination and integral piece of Boulder’s identity.

1. The Hotel Boulderado opened on the first day of 1909 after hosting a New Year’s Eve Gala to close out 1908. Since 1905, Boulder had been looking to build a luxury hotel to attract people to the city, serve as a landmark and elevate the growing town to the next level. Designed by local architects William Redding & Son, the hotel was paid for through fundraising efforts and a great deal of local buy-in. If you can believe it, early room rates at the Hotel Boulderado ranged from just $1.00 to $2.50 per day!

2. From its opening through the 1930s, the luxurious Hotel Boulderado was the place to be in Boulder and the heart of local culture. Famous guests included Helen Keller and Robert Frost, and visitors flocked to Boulder and the Hotel Boulderado to enjoy the local theater, weather and unparalleled mountain views.

3. From the 1940s to the 1960s, the Hotel Boulderado suffered blows to its physical structure and reputation. From a snowstorm that cracked panes in the hotel’s famous stained glass ceiling to an influx of hippies who often camped out secretly within the hotel, the establishment lost some of its original grandeur. In 1977, however, artist Marie Garcia finished a replica of the original stained glass ceiling to be installed. This was also the year when the hotel was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. These events rang in a decade of overhaul renovations that would restore its original beauty and allure, maintaining many of its original features and giving it back its history.

4. The 2000s brought even more restorations to the hotel. With the opening of License No. 1, a cocktail lounge that had historically been an underground bar and hangout for university students called The Catacombs, as well as a revamping of The Corner Bar, today the hotel remains a reminder of the past and a symbol of continued future appreciation for the people and places that make Boulder a premium destination and culturally relevant place to live and visit.