Thursday, June 25, 2009

Happy Birthday, Pete!

Last June birthday -- there've been LOTS this month!

I'm taking a moment today to wish Pete Morrison, our Banquet Chef, a very happy birthday! Pete creates the menus offered through the Hotel Boulderado's catering department and makes sure that everything runs smoothly in the kitchen. Pete works closely with Belem, Tom, and others in making sure that every guest served by the staff finds their meal delicious, flavorful, and of the highest quality -- the Boulderado standard! Happy Birthday, Pete!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

That Staircase!

One of the most unique features about the Hotel Boulderado, in addition to its historic charm and stained-glass lobby ceiling, is the staircase that leads down to the lobby. This cantilevered (cantilever [can⋅ti⋅le⋅ver] noun: any rigid structural member projecting from a vertical support, esp. one in which the projection is great in relation to the depth, so that the upper part is in tension and the lower part in compression) staircase requires no external bracing or supports because of its design. The staircase was made with cherrywood lumber, but the hotel staff and historian are unsure as to where the wood originated. There are no cherrywood trees large enough in Colorado to produce the lumber yield required to build the staircase. The staircase extends from the Boulderado's basement all the way up to the fifth floor of the historic section.

Staircase, circa 1960

These days, the staircase is utilized in Boulderado wedding ceremonies, which are happening more and more frequently now that wedding season is upon us. The bride and the person who gives her away descend from the third floor and walk down to the landing between the lobby and Mezzanine. As they walk down the stairs to the landing, they are flanked by bridal attendants and groomsmen standing on the stairs. The wedding guests are seated along the railing on either side of the Mezzanine and watch over the ceremony. Once at the landing, the bride joins the groom and their officiant, and when they next take the stairs up to the Mezzanine to begin their reception, it is as husband and wife.

Bride and Father ~ Photo courtesy of Cafiero Photographers

Wedding Ceremony

One of my favorite things about this staircase is that it is original to the hotel, which means that since the Boulderado opened in 1909, guests have walked up the same way regardless of which decade they stayed with us. Helen Keller, who stayed at the Boulderado twice in her lifetime, must have held onto the railing for support and guidance as she made her way upstairs.

Friday, June 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 509, a richly decorated Classic King in the historic section. Today I'm showing you Room 444, another Classic King room, but this one is in our North Wing.

The North Wing was constructed in two phases during the 1980s. It was during the second addition in 1989 that room 444 was built. Here is a photo of the room during the construction phase:

As you can see, the room had a promisingly spectacular view of the Flatirons. A corner room on the fourth floor, 444 overlooks Spruce Street and Broadway. Here is another photo, taken from roughly the same angle, as it looks today:

Room 444 has become a popular guest room at the Hotel Boulderado precisely because of its views. In the summer of 2008, during a one-night stay, Scarlett Johansson and Ryan Reynolds discovered how beautiful the views in 444 were when they stayed with us.

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

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Happy Birthday, Tiffany!

So many birthdays this month! Today I'm wishing Tiffany Yoder, our Director of Revenue and Marketing, a happy birthday. Tiffany monitors the revenue coming into the Boulderado, oversees the Reservations Department, and also handles the marketing for transient business. She celebrated her birthday by attending a Rockies game last night, and they responded with a win! Happy Birthday, Tiffany!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Treat Dad to Brunch at Q's Restaurant

Skip the tie from the department store. Avoid the cologne that he won't wear anyway. Show Dad how much you care by giving him something he'd really love -- brunch at Q's Restaurant! Q's will be serving Father's Day Brunch on Sunday from 7am to 2pm, accommodating both the early birds and the late risers. Whether it's the Eggs Benedict, Salmon Bagel Plate, or a Turkey BLT, Dad will love Chef John Platt's menu -- and so will the rest of the family.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Happy Birthday, Belem!

Wishing a very happy birthday today to Belem Macedo, the Sous Chef in our Banquets department! Belem spends hours in the kitchens painstakingly preparing the food that is served at our events, and whether it's beef tenderloin for a bridal party, sandwiches for a conference, or scones and pastries for our Holiday Teas, every dish receives the same attentive concentration. Belem's friendly smile and infamous brightly-colored pants are a welcome part of the kitchen scene. Happy Birthday, Belem!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Drinking Fountain in the Lobby

Tucked away in the southwest corner of the Hotel Boulderado lobby is an ornate drinking fountain. "Pure cold water from the Boulder owned Arapahoe Glacier" it proudly reads. Drinking fountains like this one used to be found all over Boulder. In the early 20th century, the city of Boulder purchased a watershed of dammed-up lakes fed by the Arapahoe Glacier. A $200,000 pipeline was installed to bring the "99.996% pure" water into town. The Boulderado's drinking fountain is the only one left today.

Monday, June 8, 2009

May 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 Hotel Boulderado. The goal is to collect 100 stories which will be compiled into a coffee table book. Our staff selects a monthly favorite, and May's winner is Kim Saporito. Enjoy Kim's recollections of her time as a waitress at the Boulderado.

"When I first came to Boulder with my new husband I took a job as a waitress on the first floor of the Boulderado -- this was 1971-1972. At that time there were some full-time residents at the hotel. I remember an elderly gentleman who ate very little healthy food but loved his pie. We all tried to get him to eat a little more of his meal before he ate the pie. He would also give us his paperback books that he had finished. He dressed impeccably and was always so very polite -- he was from another era. The Boulderado was a bit unorganized but there were beautiful antiques all around and it still smelled and looked like olden days (no remodels yet). My parents and my husband's parents would always stay on the fourth floor corner with a view of the mountains when they came to visit. The hotel was a bargain in those days."

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Goodbye and Good Luck, Ashley!

It's a sad day for us here at the Boulderado as we say goodbye to our Sales and Catering Office Manager, Ashley Byerley. Ashley has been a part of the Boulderado team since October of 2007, and we've all enjoyed her bright smile and warm spirit as she cheerfully supported the Sales team. Ashley is taking some time off for travel and personal reflection, and we wish her the very best of luck in her future endeavors.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Bands on the Bricks and Noon Tunes Returns

Next week, a downtown Boulder tradition returns -- live music for the summer months. Presented by Downtown Boulder Inc., Bands on the Bricks and Noon Tunes are weekly concerts featuring the best of local music.

Bands on the Bricks takes place on the 1300 block of Pearl Street on Wednesday evenings from 7pm to 9pm. The lineup for the 2009 season is as follows:

June 10th ~ Funkiphino

June 17th ~ Soul Sacrifice

June 24th ~ The Informants

July 1st ~ The Champions

July 8th ~ Fab 4

July 15th ~ Hazel Miller

July 22nd ~ Home Slice Band

July 29th ~ The Legendary Nikators

August 5th ~ Chris Daniels and The Kings

August 12th ~ Opie Gone Bad

Noon Tunes also takes place on the 1300 block of Pearl Street, but on Fridays from noon to 1:30pm. The lineup for the 2009 season is as follows:

June 12th ~ 17th Avenue All Stars

June 19th ~ Beloved Invaders

June 26th ~ The Cantralls

July 3rd ~ FlexiGrass with Pete Wernick

July 10th ~ Spring Creek

July 17th ~ Rhythm Angels

July 24th ~ Finders and Youngberg

July 31st ~ Red Apple Highway

August 7th ~ Arapahoe Blue Grass

August 14th ~ DVs and Chantel and Friends

Monday, June 1, 2009

A Brief History of the Stained-Glass Ceiling

One of the things people always remember about the Hotel Boulderado is the ceiling in the lobby -- a stained-glass canopy of glitter and light that has become a defining feature of the Boulderado. The ceiling itself has a fascinating history that few of our guests ever hear. It's time to share that history.

When the Hotel Boulderado first opened in 1909, a colorful and ornate stained-glass ceiling hovered over the lobby and Mezzanine. The glass was from Italy and was high-quality enough to be used in European cathedrals. Few pictures captured the true beauty of the original ceiling, as most of them are in black and white. A rare color photo, seen below, from the Howard family collection (c.1960) shows off the patterns and hues of the ceiling.

In 1959, a late-season snowstorm came to Boulder. At the time, only a skylight separated the canopy ceiling from the elements. When the skylight gave way under the heavy, wet snow, the ceiling was the next stop, and two panels broke under the weight. It wasn't until September of 1960 that the rest of the cathedral glass was removed and taken down to the basement. The ceiling remained bare for some months until management installed red, white, and blue Plexiglas panels. Ed Howard, who owned and operated the Boulderado in the 1960s, struggled to find someone who would want the original panels from the ceiling. Americans were not as concerned with historical preservation as they would be in future decades, and no local organization responded to Howard's pleas. The feeling at the time was that the ceiling was old-fashioned and outdated, and the Plexiglas was installed to bring some modernity to the hotel. Howard eventually had to move the ceiling panels to the local dump.

In the late 1970s, William Brantmeyer took over management of the Boulderado, and vowed to replace "that awful Plexiglas." He dreamed of restoring the ceiling to its original stained-glass and enlisted the help of local artisan Maria Garcia. Garcia and her husband worked out of a hotel room (#202, now converted into the Driftwood Room) for several months painstakingly designing, cutting, and installing the glass. The photos below document Garcia's work and the transition from the Plexiglas to the ceiling we recognize today. (Photos courtesy of Garcia)

The finished ceiling today is one of the many prides of the Boulderado. Many guests who stay here are compelled to photograph it. Events taking place on the Mezzanine are bathed in the amber golden glow, and more than one wedding album features the ceiling in the backgrounds of shots of brides, grooms, and families. The stained-glass canopy ceiling has been a part of the Boulderado's history since its opening and will continue to be so in the coming years.

A Life Exposed Photography