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)