|Boulder City History
by Roseanne Schoaff, Manager
Boulder Dam Hotel
If The Walls Of The Hotel Could Talk
If the walls of the Boulder Dam Hotel could talk they would tell a story of a business man by the name of Jim Webb, who 75 years ago had a vision of what Boulder City needed: a grande dame hotel with unprecedented private baths, air conditioning, and a gumwood paneled lobby that would accommodate world dignitaries visiting the Boulder Dam.
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|Webb’s vision became a reality and during the 1930s the Boulder Dam Hotel was a huge draw for people visiting Boulder Dam and movie stars who needed to establish Nevada residency so they could obtain a “quickie” divorce. The building was truly one of the most elegant, modern hotels in the western United States, and the gala grand opening was unlike any extravaganza attended by the elite society.
Some of the famous guests during 1934 included A.P. Gianni, founder of Bank of America, Bette Davis, who stayed at the hotel while on vacation following the filming of, “Of Human Bondage,” and the cast and crew of RKO films, who stayed while they produced the movie, “Silver Streak.” During 1935, a few more of the famous guests staying at the hotel included honeymooners Mr. and Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt, Jr., Will Rogers, who was performing on stage at the Boulder Theatre, the Maharajah and Maharani of Indore, India, and Cardinal Pascelli, who later became Pope Pius XII. Throughout the remainder of the 1930s, other famous guests included the Duchess of Westminster, George Pepperdine, founder of Pepperdine University, Henry Fonda, Boris Karloff, Senator Robert Taft, Shirley Temple, and Howard Hughes, who recuperated at the hotel after wrecking his airplane on Lake Mead.
The hotel was named to the National Registry of Historic Places on August 19, 1982. As a historic landmark the hotel captured the interest of the Boulder City Museum and Historical Association, and currently houses the Boulder City Hoover Dam Museum, the Boulder City Art Guild Gallery, Hollywood Gems, Regeena Finds, and Matteo’s restaurant. www.boulderdam hotel.com
P.O. Box 61901
Boulder City, Nevada 89006
Phone (702) 294-1392 Fax (702) 294-1392
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