Thursday, February 25, 2010

Historic Tours at the Hotel Boulderado

Did you know that you could take a historic tour of the Hotel Boulderado? They are a lot of fun, and it gives you the opportunity to learn more about the history, architecture, and stories behind the hotel. Tours begin in the lobby, and then you take the Otis elevator up to the fifth floor and work your way down the staircase until you reach the lobby level again, visiting guest rooms and interesting focal points along the way. Tours need to be scheduled ahead of time, and this can be done by calling us at (303) 440-2880.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Louis Winterberger

The Howards sold the Hotel Boulderado in 1967 to Court Plaza Inc, a group of local investors in Boulder. Louis Winterberger was a partner in the group, and he took over the day-to-day task of managing the hotel. Like the Howards, Winterberger wished to keep the hotel rooms period in nature.

In an attempt to keep the hotel full, Winterberger allowed more permanent residents to stay at the Boulderado. Most of them were elderly folks whose spouses had already passed away. One such resident was Walter Lawry, who marched such a familiar trail from the Boulderado to his favorite restaurant that the alley he walked down would later be renamed "Lawry Lane" in his honor. According to Legend of a Landmark, "Senility was a trait of . . . Winterberger's guests. 'A woman came to the front desk one day and asked if we had any rooms,' he said. 'I showed her her own room and she said it was delightful, and that she'd take it.'"

The same year that Court Plaza Inc. took over the Boulderado, Boulder residents finally voted to repeal the prohibition the city had been under since the 30s. For the first time, full-strength wine, beer, and liquor could be legally served within the city limits. Winterberger turned an unused space in the basement into Catacombs Bar and Restaurant, which opened in 1969 to thirsty patrons. He also added an entrance to the bar from 13th Street, paving the way for the hotel entrances to be switched in the future. (The hotel's main entrance since its 1909 opening was located on Spruce Street. But with the crumbling stone portico and Catacombs traffic, the entrance was eventually moved to 13th Street.)

When Court Plaza Inc. sold the Boulderado in 1976, Louis Winterberger shared his thoughts. "Naturally we have mixed emotions about selling the hotel. Our Christmas carol sing in the decorated lobby at Christmas time soon became a family tradition and we have pleasant memories of the lovely weddings, the Philharmonic Balls, and many other social events which have taken place in the lobby. We know the new owners feel as we do about the historic preservation of the hotel, and we are pleased they will be continuing our efforts."

Gwen, Winterberger's wife, shared her memories of running the hotel with her husband in our Memories of the Boulderado. Click here to read her story.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

BCBR's Forty Under 40

Last night, several of us headed over to the Boulder Theater to attend the Boulder County Business Report's inaugural Forty Under 40 event. According to publisher Christopher Wood, this group "represents an amazing group of young professionals. . . . These individuals are the rising stars of the Boulder Valley. They're either in leadership roles, or they're poised to assume leadership roles in the future. Many are already devoting 'spare' time to charitable activities. They're masters of networking, and they're heading for the top of their industries."

And I'm one of them.

Beverly, Linda, Yuko, and I attended the event to celebrate. Honestly, most of the evening was a blur of bundled nerves for me. I'm much more used to being the one behind the scenes than the one in the spotlight! Beverly is our favorite unofficial photog in the office, and she snapped some shots last night I thought I'd share.

Boulder Theater Marquee ~ "Boulder County Business Report Presents Forty Under 40"

All the winners

Accepting the award

Congratulations to the entire Forty Under 40 class!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

BIFF Is Here

Feels like Boulder is getting more glittery by the minute this week. No, I'm not talking about the window displays for Valentine's Day. I'm talking about Boulder's version of Hollywood -- the Boulder International Film Festival. Starting tomorrow and lasting through Sunday, you can check out some really fantastic films all over Boulder. Five of the films included in the lineup have been nominated for Oscars, and another, "Enemies of the People," was nominated for the World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. Of course, what would a film festival be without celebrities? Blythe Danner will be present at the opening night festivities, which includes the premiere of her movie, "The Lightkeepers." Alec Baldwin, from NBC's 30 Rock, will be on hand on Valentine's Day for the closing night for a special tribute. Keep up with all the BIFF shenanigans by following them on Twitter or Facebook.

Of course, we had to get in on the fun here at the Boulderado. In addition to hosting a special get-together for the filmmakers, we are also offering a Visitor's Package for BIFF's Opening Night: you can book a room at the Hotel Boulderado for the night of the 11th, receive 2 tickets to the Opening Night Festivities, and your valet parking is included. So easy, a caveman could do it.

Or, at the very least, so easy Nederland's Frozen Dead Guy could do it.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Driftwood Room

Once upon a time at the Hotel Boulderado, the 2nd floor, or Mezzanine, was occupied with hotel rooms like the rest of the building. By the 1970s, a typical room might look like this:

(Photo Credit: Daily Camera)

But beginning in the late 70s and continuing into the early 80s, management started removing hotel rooms from the Mezzanine to open up space for events and parties. Eventually all the hotel rooms on the second floor were converted into an array of offices, a catering kitchen, function spaces -- like the Driftwood Room. Room #201 was renovated to become what is now called Driftwood Room, a popular site for small meetings and receptions.

(Photo Credit: Alison M. Fleetwood, Jr. Photography)

You may remember that the Driftwood Room was the site where Marie Garcia and her husband spent three months designing, cutting, and installing the stained glass for the current canopy ceiling over the lobby. Just goes to show you that when you book an event at the Boulderado, you're not just renting a room -- you're sharing in the history of a Boulder landmark.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

January 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 January's winner is Douglas Dellinger. Enjoy his story, "She said that I needed to sit down."

"My wife and I met in Palo Alto, California. She was originally from Montpellier, France, and I had grown up in rural Iowa. I had lived in Boulder in the 80's while attending graduate school so I was quite familiar with The Catacombs. When I asked my wife to marry me, she tearfully told me that she could never have children as a result of an endrocrine condition that was diagnosed when she was a teenager. Being a medical researcher myself, I contacted a friend who specialized in similar disorders, and he sent us to a local colleague at Stanford Medical School. The physician at Stanford confirmed my wife's condition and explained that our only option for having a family was through adoption; a pretty heart-wrenching depressing realization for my wife.

A few weeks later I traveled to Boulder on business and stayed at the Hotel Boulderado. To cheer my wife up, I arranged to stay at the Boulderado through the weekend and have her fly in to join me. After picking her up from the airport, she was quiet for the whole trip back to Boulder. The minute I got her suitcase into the hotel room, she said that I needed to sit down, that she had something to tell me. She told me that she was pregnant; the joy on her face was probably as remarkable as the shock and disbelief on mine! That weekend we so enjoyed Boulder that we schemed a plan to eventually move to Boulder to raise our family. Our first daughter was born November 15th of 1999 and we moved to Boulder two years later in December of 2001. We currently have three children, two of which were born at Boulder Community Hospital. Still, every time we walk by the Boulderado, my wife and I have to talk about that night and how it changed our lives."