My blogging series about the different Boulderado owners and managers had to come to an end eventually, I guess. And perhaps this is the blog post I've been pointing towards ever since I first started sharing the history of these people. Beginning with William Beattie and Hugh Mark, then moving on to the Hutsons, Ralph Hume, and the Howards, and continuing with Louis Winterberger, William Brantmeyer, and Bart Bortles.
Bortles and Dick Dorman sold the hotel to Boulderado Hotel Ltd. in 1980 after just two years of ownership. Sid Anderson stayed on as the general manager. Frank Day became the new managing general partner of the hotel. At the time, Day described the rooms as "threadbare and tatty, but clean and comfortable." He decided to renovate the building from top to bottom.
First to be done were the fourth and fifth floor guest rooms on the west side of the building. Rooms that connected to share a bathroom were converted into large suites. Rooms without bathrooms had them installed in what used to be the closets. Each room received a makeover in time, and the tradition of each Hotel Boulderado room having a different decorating scheme was born. (Each of our guest rooms are individually decorated with their own carpet, drape, and wallpaper.) At the time, the hotel was also full of original antique furniture, but most of them had lost their luster over the years. Every piece of furniture was refinished on the fourth-floor porch, cataloged, and photographed.
Amazingly enough, the Hotel Boulderado remained open during this entire process. While seven or eight rooms were taken out of the rental inventory, the rest remained open to guests. By the time the renovation had been completed, it brought the hotel's room count to 42. With an occupancy averaging 92% almost every night, Day felt confident in expanding the guest rooms at the Hotel Boulderado. First one expansion in 1985 and then another in 1989 increased the hotel's inventory to the current 160 and also added the Events Center in the North Wing.
Without the initial renovation and the subsequent expansion, the Hotel Boulderado may never have recovered the grandeur it exudes today. When you walk into the lobby, the cherrywood staircase gleams, the stained-glass ceiling glitters, and friendly faces greet you at the door and the front desk. This is the Boulderado that I've come to love and treasure, made possible by the people who contributed over the years not only to the hotel, but the hotel's history as well. Boulderado employees are also caretakers of a landmark, and we make sure to hold that duty in as high a regard as we do for our daily tasks.