Friday, May 29, 2009

"You'll Never Forget the Boulderado"

Working in a historic hotel like the Boulderado can be a lot of fun for a history nerd like me. Around every corner, there's another piece of antique furniture, or a pair of shoes left behind by a workman from 1905, or photos that suddenly turn up showcasing a long-gone era. What we do today, in the moment, can lose its significance, but when someone else finds it fifty years later, it's a precious gem.

Take this example: June Howard, who owned and operated the Hotel Boulderado with her husband, Ed, from 1961 to 1967, sent us a copy of a marketing brochure they used. The hotel is still very much recognizable as the Boulderado we know and love -- the staircase leading up to the Mezzanine, the front desk, and the signature exterior architecture. But looking deeper into the pictures in the brochure, certain nuances unique to that time are also visible. Fred's Steakhouse stands where Q's is today. Ashtrays are seen inside the lobby. Guest room televisions are black and white consoles. The ceiling of the lobby is not featured at all, probably because at the time it was red, white, and blue Plexigas, not the exquisite stained-glass that is so familiar to us today.

"Guests at the Hotel Boulderado relax in Western comfort in 80 rooms like the one above. Historical atmosphere prevails from beds to lobby to exterior. . . . Today, under Ed Howard's management, the Boulderado retains its Old West character, but with modern conveniences. Charm and hospitality surround guests relaxing in the lobby or on the wide veranda on a pleasant summer evening. It is easy to imagine the days when ladies and gentlemen drove up in fine livery rigs pulled by sleek horses. It was a time to enjoy life, a time that still exists in Boulder -- at The Boulderado." (Text from the brochure)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Happy Birthday, Tom!

Wishing a very happy birthday today to our Banquet Manager, Tom Kee! Tom has been a loyal Boulderado employee since he started on our Banquets Waitstaff in the late 90s. In his position as Banquet Manager, Tom makes sure that all our events go smoothly, whether it's a multi-day conference, a wedding, bar/bat mitzvah, surprise birthday party, or one of our Seasonal Buffets or Murder Mysteries. Tom's smile and humor has become a welcome part of the Boulderado staff, and we hope he enjoys his much-deserved vacation to celebrate his birthday!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Unique Light Fixture

On the historic side of the Hotel Boulderado, between the third and fourth floors of the staircase, there is an unassuming light fixture providing guests with illumination as they make their way up and down the stairs. This particular light fixture is a unique addition to the Boulderado's collection of antiques.

When the Boulderado opened in 1909, it was unclear whether the "new" power source -- electricity -- would be reliable. Particularly here in Colorado, with our sudden gusts of wind, the early power lines went down easily. To hedge their bets, the management decided to purchase light fixtures that could run on either the new-fangled electricity or the old, reliable coal gas. An example of this light fixture is the very same found between the third and fourth floors. The Boulderado purchased this authentic fixture from that period from the old Denver Capital building as a reminder of the history of energy the hotel has witnessed.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Things to Do Downtown on Memorial Day Weekend

Downtown Boulder is always bustling with activity, making the Boulderado's location here ideal for travellers with a wide variety of interests. Memorial Day weekend is no exception.

Saturday morning check out the Farmers Market on 13th Street between Canyon Boulevard and Arapahoe Avenue to score some of the freshest produce in town. From the Farmer's Market, you can head south to the creek for the Boulder Creek Festival, or north to the Pearl Street Mall to investigate the BolderBOULDER Sports Exhibit.

The 22nd Annual Boulder Creek Festival marks the unofficial entry into summer for many local residents. Beginning Saturday and lasting through Monday, you can stop by and check out the 500 vendor booths, attend a music or dance performance, and even hop on a carnival ride. The Festival culminates with its signature event on Monday -- the Great Rubber Duck Race, taking place at 4pm.

For running enthusiasts, the tempation of the Sports Exhibit may prove too much. On Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 6pm, companies will be on hand displaying their latest products and sharing information -- some will even be holding giveaways! This is also the only place where you can register and pick up the information packet for the BolderBOULDER, which takes place on Monday.

The 31st Annual BolderBOULDER is a 10k road race that exemplifies Boulder's commitment to fitness and health. More than 50,000 runners and walkers will be cheered on by 80,000 fans on the sidelines. Beginning at the intersection of 30th and Iris and ending in Folsom Field, the course winds through the streets of Boulder and features different bands at various points -- including right in front of the Hotel Boulderado! Our featured artist is the Holden Young Trio.

So whether you're into running, fresh produce, a free creek festival, or watching hundreds of rubber duckys race down the Boulder Creek, downtown Boulder is the place to be this weekend!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Downtown Excursion Package

Travellers are definitely looking for deals and extra value this year, and to keep up with the demand, the Hotel Boulderado is offering popular packages that bundle value and a fun experience. One such package is the Downtown Excursion Package. Guests who book this package receive, in addition to their room or suite, a $25 gift card to Downtown Boulder, which is good at over 150 shops, restaurants, and service providers in the downtown area. You can pick up a memento of your stay at Art Mart, stop in for a latte at the Unseen Bean, grab lunch at the Boulder Cafe, or try one of those famously lethal margaritas at the Rio Grande Restaurant. (Check out the full list of participating merchants.) The Downtown Excursion Package also includes $25 towards a meal in Q's Restaurant or the Corner Bar, both of which are located just off the Boulderado's lobby.

If you're looking for "a downtown kind of stay," you'll love the Downtown Excursion Package at the Hotel Boulderado! Book this package online or by contacting our Reservations Department at or calling toll-free 1 (800)4 433-4344.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


In recognition of the Hotel Boulderado's 100 Year Anniversary in 2009, I've decided to profile several of our signature guest rooms and suites over the coming months. Last time we took a peek inside 505, one of the two Presidential Suites we offer. If you walk down the hall towards the west, you will encounter room 509, the next stop on our virtual room tour of the Hotel Boulderado.

In addition to being a downright gorgeous room, 509 has the distinction of being the only Classic King in the historic section of the hotel. (Classic King rooms feature one king-sized bed and are larger than our standard Boulderado Kings -- considered a "junior suite.")

Above Photo Provided by Allison M. Fleetwood, Jr.

Room 509 features a lush red and gold decor and is known by some Boulderado employees simply as "the red room." A built-in wet bar and antique furniture add character to the room, and the views of the Flatirons and downtown Boulder are spectacular.

Stay tuned for upcoming profiles of other guest rooms at the Hotel Boulderado!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Miss Honey Bee

If you've ever taken the stairs all the way up to the fifth floor of the historic section of the Hotel Boulderado, you've probably noticed the life-sized portrait showcased on the west wall. Beautrice "Honey Bee" Lennartz (1904-1998) had her portrait painted by Nellie Scheinert in 1930. "Miss Honey Bee" taught many young Boulder children music lessons, and she spent the bulk of her life in a home at 655 Arapahoe Avenue.

Miss Honey Bee frequented the dining room of the Boulderado, eating lunch often here especially in her later years. When she began making preparations to move into a retirement facility, she was unsure what to do with her portrait. It was too large for the Boulder Historic Society to display, and the Boulder History Museum declined the offer, so Honey Bee finally decided to bequeath it to the Hotel Boulderado. She was able to come and view it after it had been framed so she could see it hanging in place. Miss Honey Bee later died in 1998.

Rumors of Boulderado ghosts have circled for years, and in 2007, the Boulder County Paranormal Society conducted an investigation. The only anomaly they came back with was an EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomena) caught near the Honey Bee painting. Click here to view their report in its entirety, and to listen to the EVP for yourself.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Welcome New Faces!

It's an exciting day here at the Hotel Boulderado with two new (well, one new and one new-ish) faces in the building!

Thomas Breslin started training today as the newest Hotel Boulderado Assistant Front Desk Manager. Thomas had been working at the Boulderado since January as an Elevator Attendant and Bellman before taking on this new position. Thomas will be responsible for management duties and helping provide top-notch service to our guests.

Yuko Ishige joined the Boulderado family today as the Sales Office's new Office Manager (in-training). She comes to us with an abundance of customer service experience from Frontier Airlines and will help support the Sales staff. Yuko enjoys tea, cooking, and cheering on her beloved Rockies.

Welcome to the Boulderado, Yuko! Congratulations on your new assignment, Thomas!

Friday, May 8, 2009

April Winner ~ Tell Us Your Boulderado Story

One of the components of the Boulderado's 100 year anniversary is the Tell Us Your Boulderado Story campagn, which is a collection of memories and narratives from the last century about the Boulderado. The goal is to collect 100 stories which will be compiled into a coffee table book. Our staff selects a monthly favorite, and April's winner is -- me, I'm embarassed to say. I hope you enjoy reading my Boulderado story, "Halloween Night."

"I started working at the Hotel Boulderado in December of 2007. Within my first few weeks, I heard that there were alleged 'ghosts' occupying our hotel, but decided to keep an open mind on the subject. Sometimes odd things will happen in our office – a door will open by itself, a bell will ring for no reason, or sometimes I hear someone else in here when I am completely alone. But the most interesting ghost experience I’ve had here – so far – happened on Halloween of 2008.

I had made plans to stay at the hotel with my boyfriend, Justin, and we were fortunate enough to be upgraded to one of the poshest suites in our inventory. Justin and his young son happened to stop by while I was still at work that day, taking a break from the Munchkin Masquerade on Pearl Street. I took them up to the suite to show them the room, and Justin’s son had fun exploring the room – climbing all over the bed, looking out every window, even testing out the television.

We returned to the room later that evening, after the dinner-hour, to freshen up before we went out to Pearl Street. Justin made a phone call home to say good-night to his son, and I laid down to take a brief nap. He was in the suite’s living room, and I was in the bedroom. There is a heavy door separating the two rooms, and while I was laying down, I saw this door shut very suddenly and firmly. I assumed Justin shut it to have more privacy on his phone call, and thought nothing of it at the time.

I returned to the living room a short time later, and asked Justin how his son was. 'Fine,' he replied. 'Sorry if I was too loud, I didn’t mean to disturb you while you were sleeping. I felt bad when you shut the door.'

'I didn’t shut it, I thought you did,' I answered.

'No, I was on the couch the whole time I was on the phone.

The rest of the night was peppered with 'Are you sure you didn’t shut the door?' from each of us, until finally we both accepted that the other hadn’t touched the door. Later, I remembered that according to the hotel’s history, a former manager had lived in the suite with his small son while his wife and daughter shared a similar set-up a few floors below. I wonder now if by bringing in Justin's son, and the phone call Justin made to him, stirred up some energy already heightened by the holiday. Or maybe I’ve just seen too many of those ghost shows on cable. Regardless, that Halloween night proved a memorable one for me."

Thursday, May 7, 2009

CU's Graduation

Congratulations to the graduating class of 2009! Every year, the Hotel Boulderado is packed at this time of year with proud parents and other visitors who are celebrating the achievements of the new graduates. Being just one mile from CU's campus, the Boulderado is a natural setting for graduation parties and accommodations.

Did you know that CU students used to live at the Boulderado? Back in the '60s, the University of Colorado experienced such a rise in registration that they ran out of housing. Administrators turned to the Boulderado for the extra rooms they needed, and students became residents for the duration of their school year. The following was taken directly from a transcript of an oral history taken from Ed Howard, who owned and operated the Boulderado from 1961 to 1967

"There was one more interesting chapter in that hotel in ’60. The university was just absolutely out of bedrooms, and they leased that for thirty women – girls – students. They lived throughout the hotel in different rooms and the manager told me he had the darndest time keeping the male students outta there, ‘cause they would come up the side of the hotel, onto the restaurant roof, up into the fire escape and into the hotel, and they knew where they were headed, and he said they were always in there. I didn’t get them back the following fall. They put those girls somewhere else. I took in boys in ’63, took in about thirty young men, and it didn’t work very good. Course boys aren’t worth a darn trying to cook a meal, and living in a hotel they had to eat every meal out, which was expected. So they gradually moved out during the school term, a few lasted until the end." (To read Ed's transcript, visit the 100 Year Anniversary page on our website.)

June Howard, Ed's wife, sent this photo of the girls who lived in the hotel during school. Wonder where they are today . . .

Monday, May 4, 2009

Photos from Catacombs Opening

You never know what will turn up when you work in a historic hotel like the Boulderado! Just recently, photos resurfaced showing the Catacombs Bar when it opened in 1969. It was a noteworthy opening, because Boulder was "dry" until 1967, meaning bars couldn't serve full-strength alcohol or beer. The Catacombs was the first newly constructed restaurant with full service to serve beer, wine, and liquor at their intended strength. Since then, Catacombs has become a local favorite, popular enough to earn "Best Bar of Boulder County 2009." Congratulations to the Catacombs and all their loyal patrons!

Friday, May 1, 2009

May = Rediscover Colorado Month AND National Historic Preservation Month

May is turning into quite the busy time for us! In addition to such standards as Mother's Day and CU's graduation, May is also doing double-duty as National Historic Preservation Month and Rediscover Colorado Month.

According to Colorado's governor, Bill Ritter, now is the time for residents to visit in-state destinations. "As Coloradoans, we are fortunate to live in a state filled with beautiful landscapes, rich culture and heritage, and boundless recreational activities. We don't have to travel far for an incredible and affordable vacation experience. I encourage all Coloradoans to get out and explore all there is to see and do right here in our own backyard." Ritter's announcement was accompanied by the launch of a new offshoot of the Colorado State Visitor Guide's website that targets people looking for hot deals. (See all the deals for yourself at -- the Boulderado sent in two!)

May has already been established as National Preservation Month by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, of which the Hotel Boulderado is a member through its affiliation with the Historic Hotels of America. "Preservation Month was designed to raise awareness about the power historic preservation has to protect and enhance our homes, neighborhoods, and communities. . . . It provides an opportunity to celebrate the diverse and unique heritage of our country's cities and towns, and enables all of us to become involved in the growing preservation movement."

So, whether you're vacationing in-state or venturing to a historic property, show your enthusiasm for all the good things we have going in May!