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The Boulder Dam Hotel: Honoring the Past While Updating for the Future

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Boulder City has become one of my favorite places. I love the rich history of the little town just southeast of Las Vegas. It was built by the United States Federal Government in the 1930’s to provide housing and accommodations to the thousands of workers who flocked to the area for a job during the depression era. They all were eager to be involved in the Boulder Dam, aka: Hoover Dam Project- (the name changed over the course of its history).

The Boulder Dam Hotel was envisioned by W. F. Grey, who hired Jim Webb to construct the building. Many dignitaries and celebrities became guests of the hotel. Some of the guests included Henry Fonda, Boris Karloff, and Will Rogers. It was built in the colonial revival style and is still today one of the amazing treasures the city has to offer.

The hotel offers a very impressive lobby, with huge fireplace and wood paneling. The restaurant features great food and at very affordable prices. The first floor houses the museum and hotel archives. The second floor consists of several dozen rooms that are rented out on a nightly basis to those who wish to stay in this historic hotel.

Here is an album of photos of Boulder City and the dam.

Last fall, the Hotel announced that it would host The Great Hotel Flip- room design contest. Six lucky participants would be able to refurbish a room in the hotel. Sponsors were secured to help cover the costs that were associated with the redesign process.

Some of you who have been on GGB have seen me mention Jonathan Bollas. Jonathan is a graduate of Ohio State University and attended the prestigious Columbus College of Art and Design. He has worn many hats throughout his interior design career. As a successful owner and operator of several storefronts, to include antiques and fine art, Jonathan is passionate in all aspects of design. His designs have been seen across the country. He is behind the scenes, but is also a big part of the Got Good Bones family! Well now he can add the Boulder Dam Hotel to his resume!

Jonathan was invited to participate in this wonderful opportunity. I was lucky to be involved through osmosis…helping out in anyway possible.

The planning stages included picking a room, measuring and photographing the room and its contents and then figuring out what needed to be replaced and\or what could be salvaged. Jonathan is a huge fan of Art Deco….and it was the perfect theme to use to turn one of the rooms into a masterpiece! He ended up choosing a suite- which had a living area, kitchenette, bedroom and bathroom.

Here are the BEFORE Pictures:

After the planning and coordinating was completed, the fun began! Shopping!! Jonathan scoured the city and even purchased items from out of state and off the internet. There are MANY funny stories that occurred over the course of the past few months, with regard to finding items, getting them ready for the room and securing home improvement contractors to perform various jobs to transform the room. But those are saved for another day!

February 1, 2017 was the first day of installation. The room had already been gutted and emptied by Isaac, The Facilities Manager at the Boulder Dam Hotel. The first two days were spent painting. Several people helped paint the room, including Got Good Bones Member Patty Rodgers. Enamel. Semi Gloss. White. Cobalt Blue. Silver. Ceilings. Walls. Doors. Floorboards. Back splashes. It all got a new color!

I got to paint a few pieces for the room and help with the indoor painting also. Thankfully we had some amazing weather that week. It made the job much more pleasant.

Next was the electrical and the new counter tops. A fan, new lighting for the bathroom and a chandelier were installed: and a plug was moved.

Then came the tile. Black Hexagon Mosaic Tile with black grout for the kitchen floor. Jonathan had a limited budget- so not all areas that he wanted to tile in the suite could be redone. He made the most impact on what he could with the money allotted for the flip.

Silver carpet was just what the room needed for that extra wow factor. It was all coming together!

Monday and Tuesday were spent bringing all the decor in, hanging pictures, wall fixtures, light fixtures, setting up the bedroom, bathroom and living room. Isaac really was a great help again!

Below are the pictures of the AFTER. What a difference. The room is a HUGE hit! These were taken in the same daytime light- same camera. Same flash. The room before was so dark. The paint and light colors sure did make a HUGE difference in the space! Its a gorgeous!!!!



The photos in the room are of Carole Lombard, a famous actress of the time. She was married to Clark Gable. Jonathan will be writing about his inspiration for the room and I will post on the blog as soon as possible.

There are five other rooms that are in the process of different stages of the flip contest. I will be featuring them also as they are finished! Please stay tuned- and it’s so fun to think you can go and even stay in them too!!

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Johannah Back
I have been a picker\collector\decorator my whole life. I grew up in an eccentric family of artists and collectors. I studied Interior Design- but never finished my degree, as being a mom of two amazing children always seemed to close the door on my college pursuit. I know what inspires and motivates me.

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