Monday, December 28, 2009

Top 10 Boulderado Blog Posts of 2009

Have you noticed that everybody and their brother seems to come up with their own "Top 10" list towards the end of the year?

I couldn't resist jumping on the bandwagon.

Top 10 Reader's Favorites Boulderado Blog Posts:

10. The Old and the New

9. Munchkin Masquerade

8. December at the Boulderado

7. Don't Forget!

6. Boulder Wilderness Shuttle Visitor Packages

5. The Michael Jackson Dance Party SOLD OUT!

4. Hugh Mark

3. Otis Elevator

2. Drinking Fountain in the Lobby

1. That Staircase!

(PS: I ranked the posts according to how much response each generated through user comments on the blog and on Facebook.)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas at the Boulderado

It's Christmas Eve, which means that the holiday decorations that have bedazzled the Hotel Boulderado all month will soon be packed up and put away til next year. If you haven't stopped by to see the tree, be sure to do so before Tuesday the 29th. We'll be taking the tree down that day to make room for Dressed in Black, our band for New Year's Eve. Here's some fun facts about the decorations that have been in place for the last month:
  • 1000 feet of garland and 2400 white lights are strung throughout the historic and north wings
  • Rhonda tied all the bows by hand and used 1500 feet of ribbon to do so
  • The tree in the lobby is adorned with 1700 white lights and hundreds of ornaments

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Sad to say that this will be my last post on signature hotel rooms at the Boulderado. Over the last several months, we've explored 505, 509, 444, 306, 304, 302, and now, it's 502's turn. 502 is one of what's known as the "salesmen sample rooms," also known as 501, 502, 503, and 504. When the Hotel Boulderado first opened in 1909, traveling salesmen were one of the Boulderado's best client bases. Back then, a salesman wasn't able to fly to a new city every other day to show off his products. He would travel with a wagon and stop off in towns and cities for several days or weeks. The salesman would rent two rooms -- a cheap one on the interior he would use for himself, and a much larger one with beautiful natural light where he would display his wares -- shoes, pots & pans, whatever his specialty. The latter room was what was known as the salesmen sample rooms.

Nowadays, our salesmen sample rooms have been converted into Deluxe Two Queens rooms -- each room holds two queen-sized beds and is bathed in the same natural light, courtesy of the original skylights still in place. As with most of the rooms on the historic side of the hotel, they are furnished with unique antique pieces like sitting chairs and side tables.

I've enjoyed sharing some of our most unique hotel rooms with you this year. Next year, I will take you around and share the history of our event spaces with you. Some of these spaces used to be hotel rooms, some are new-ish, and one even used to house the Boulder Chamber of Commerce. Stay tuned in 2010 as we explore the Hotel Boulderado's unique facility spaces!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Ralph Hume

Ralph Hume is an interesting figure in the Hotel Boulderado's history. He started out as a bellman in the mid-1930s and then moved up to desk clerk, making friends with Bill Mark, Hugh Mark's son along the way. In the late 1940s, when owner Bill Hutson was losing interest in running the hotel, he turned to Ralph, who took over the managerial duties until 1961.

The times, they were a changing during Hume's era. More and more people were able to afford purchasing a family car, and many travelers bypassed downtown Boulder in favor of the new, modern motels that had spring up on the outskirts of town. The motels offered amenities that the Boulderado couldn't compete with, like swimming pools. Even after adding a new parking lot, the only travelers who seemed to want to stay at the Boulderado were lawyers who wished to be near the courthouse. To compensate for the drop-off in occupancy, Hume decided to open up the Boulderado's rooms to more permanent guests who paid by the week or the month.

It was during Hume's tenure that a few panels fell from the stained-glass ceiling. The hotel in general was in need of freshening up, so Hume decided to remove the remainder of the ceiling and start over. He hired local contractor Moss Miles to install red, white, and blue Plexiglas in its place. A young Bill Hutson III (the Hutson's son) helped Miles with the installation, and admitted years later, "Even then I knew it was tacky."

Stay tuned to learn about the next couple that owned and managed the Hotel Boulderado during the 1960s, Ed and June Howard. For a sneak peek, you can read our transcript of an oral history from Ed on our website.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Nutcracker Teas

Our first Nutcracker Tea of the season is tomorrow, and both teas (on the 12th and 19th) have been sold out for weeks. We team up with the Boulder Ballet, who brings in cast members from this year's production of the Nutcracker to mingle with tea guests and let children collect autographs and pose for photos. Ten dollars from each ticket goes right back to supporting the Boulder Ballet.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

New Events Announced!

So, it's true that Christmas is still weeks away, but here at the Hotel Boulderado, we've already started planning for events after New Years. Are we crazy, or just crazy fun?

On Friday, January 8th, we will celebrate the King of Rock and Roll's 75th birthday with Elvis Lives! Come on down to the Boulderado Events Center where DJ Chris will be spinning the King's greatest hits from 7pm to 10pm. We'll be offering plates of some of Elvis' favorite foods, like the famous fried peanut butter and banana sandwich.

We're doing something a wee bit different for Valentine's Day -- an Anti-Valentine's Day Party. Singles and couples (both married and not) are equally welcome to enjoy drinks, dancing, food, and non-romantic comedies in the Boulderado Events Center on Saturday, February 13th from 8pm to 11pm.

Stay tuned for more information about these events as it becomes available. If you RSVP for one or both of these events on our website, you will be entered in an exclusive drawing for a complimentary overnight stay at the Boulderado. Sign up today!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

November Winner ~ Tell Us Your Boulderado Story

One of the components of the Boulderado's 100 year anniversary is the Tell Us Your Boulderado Story campaign, which is a collection of memories and narratives from the last century about the Hotel Boulderado. Our goal is to collect 100 stories which will be compiled into a coffee table book. The Boulderado selects a monthly favorite, and November's winner is Laurie Thornton. Enjoy her story, "My Wedding Gift."

"Like many other couples, my husband Ernie and I were married on the staircase of the Hotel Boulderado. We had a lovely wedding and reception, but one of the things I remember most about that day was receiving my wedding gift from Ernie. I had recently graduated from veterinary school at CSU and have a very creative husband, so my gift arrived in the most unique way.

The entire wedding party stayed at the Boulderado the night before the wedding. I had told Ernie 'no seeing the bride the day of the wedding,' so I was sure that the knock at my room door the morning of our wedding was not him. I was startled to hear knock, knock, knock, followed by oink, oink, oink! I opened the door to find this adorable little battery-powered pig whacking into the door with her nose and oinking. Looking closer, I discovered she was wearing my wedding gift -- pearl earrings to wear at the ceremony!

We just celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary. We still have the pig, the earrings, the memories of our wonderful day, and each other."

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

December at the Boulderado

It feels like just yesterday that I was filling y'all in on what was happening at the Hotel Boulderado in November, and now it's time to do the same for December! Rhonda is out in the lobby right now with our Maintenance Department, putting the final touches on our tree. This year's evergreen is a 28' white fir from New Mexico, and it's beautiful! If you are able to stop by the lobby over the next few weeks, you should definitely do so just to marvel at the tree's size. Kids especially get a kick out of it -- "It must be a hundred feet tall!" -- so bring them around once school breaks for the year. Here's what else we're cooking up this month:
  • Holiday Tea series continues with Nutcracker Teas, Holiday Bazaar Teas, and carolers -- oh my!
  • Our Christmas Day Buffet is filling up quickly! Many local families have made the Boulderado a part of their holiday tradition, and close to a third of the people who attend our buffets do so because they enjoyed on in the past. Thanksgiving sold out early this year, so if you are looking to book Christmas with us, call today!
  • We were recently voted the #1 Place to Celebrate New Year's Eve in downtown Boulder! Find out why with our New Year's Eve Gala Ball. Later this month, I will be doing a blog post about the history and tradition related to this special night -- the official anniversary of the Boulderado's opening!
Whether you celebrate Christmas or Kwanzaa, Chanukah or nothing at all, we here at the Boulderado would like to take a moment to wish you the best the season has to offer -- warmth, joy, peace, and spending time with loved ones.