Historic Boulder Dam Hotel & Museum Closes Today

Say sayonora to the 76-year old historic hotel in the heart of Boulder City, Nevada.  Apparently, there hasn’t been enough political momentum to rescue the hotel from its financial woes and keep the museum  and resturant open. BoulderDamHotel

The two-story, white-brick structure, with 20 rooms, restaurant and museum that originally opened in 1933, two years before the Hoover Dam was complete, served as ritzy lodging and a retreat for such famous guests as James Cagney, Bette Davis and Howard Hughes, is now three months behind on its mortgage and last-minute appeals for money from the local government have failed, leaving the property operators no choice but to shut down operations at midnight tonight. 

The closure will leave 22 workers without jobs and two on-site caretakers will need to take up lodging elsewhere. 

The Boulder City Museum, located inside the hotel, will also close.  Once the depository for Boulder City’s memorable past in journals, photographs, tools and supplies related to Hoover Dam’s construction– the Great Depression-era edifice that altered the flow of the Colorado River, brought electricity and reliable irrigation supplies to much of the desert Southwest and put Boulder City on the map. 

Some independent small businesses and offices inside the property, however, will remain open, at least for now. 

The hotel-museum has about $8,000 in monthly mortgage obligations and the occupancy rate has fallen from about 68 percent to 57 percent since the national economy went into a tailspin last year. 

The historical association sought to raise private money before turning, unsuccessfully, to Boulder City’s redevelopment agency earlier this week to ask for about $135,000. The redevelopment agency deadlocked 2-2 on a vote to provide a loan that would carry it through the summer. 

The group is also seeking grants from the federal government, but now that it is 90 days past-due on the mortgage, foreclosure appears imminent. 

“We can’t compare ourselves to a casino that can give away a room for $9 and make money from other things,” said innkeeper Roger Shoaff of the historic property’s niche in the marketplace. 

However, with any luck, the nonprofit association that owns the property hopes to raise $250,000 by September 10 to reopen the property.

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