Hotel Boulderado historian Laurel McKown stands on the hotel’s original cherrywood staircase Friday.
PUBLISHED: | UPDATED:

Boulder’s Hotel Boulderado has been nominated as one of six finalists for the 2019 Best Historic Hotel Award of Excellence.

The hotel’s historian and director of housekeeping Laurel McKown also is among six finalists in the Hotel Historian of the Year category.

The finalists were selected by a committee of the Historic Hotels of America, the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation for recognizing and celebrating historic hotels worldwide.

The Hotel Boulderado is one of six finalists for 2019 Best Historic Hotel Award of Excellence.

“The nominations are a great honor,” said Creighton A. Smith, general manager of Hotel Boulderado, 2115 13th St. The nominations recognize the hard work of employees and owners Frank and Gina Day to maintain the hotel’s historic character, he said.

The hotel, which opened to the public Jan. 1, 1909, was built at the behest of community members who wanted to have a luxury hotel in Boulder. They wanted the city to attract new people to help grow local businesses, McKown said. The Boulder Commercial Association sold stocks publicly at $100 a piece for the project. It was built for $131,000 in two years, she said. Over the years, the hotel has been updated, yet it exudes its essential Victorian charm and elegance, she said. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1994.

It’s not an easy job to maintain a historic hotel, said Mary Ann Mahoney, CEO of the Boulder Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“It’s something you can’t replicate today,” she said.

Mahoney worked at the hotel from 1979 through 2001.

She said the hotel is a slice of Boulder’s history, which continues to attract visitors from close and far looking for an “out of the ordinary experience.”

The hotel’s lobby has the original floor tiles imported from Italy. The hotel’s cantilevered five-story cherrywood staircase, woodwork and Otis elevator also are original, McKown said. The hotel’s original entrance was from Spruce Street, and the hotel’s first documented wedding took place in May 1911, she said.

“The hotel’s original light fixtures were piped for gas and wired for electricity,” she said.

She and her staff make sure the building is preserved.

“We understand we are taking care of something irreplaceable. It comes from the heart,” said McKown, who has worked at the hotel for more than 35 years.

Hotel guests can get a glimpse of historic life in the city through special exhibits and photographs on the hotel’s third floor. Last year the Historic Boulder Heritage Roundtable recognized McKown and the hotel for preserving the city’s history.

“This building has soul. It speaks to me and everyone who comes in.” she said

blog comments powered by Disqus