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Ticket to Write: History of Boulder City lives on

Steve Stephens More Content Now

BOULDER CITY, Nevada — The workers who built the mighty Hoover Dam needed a place to live. And so Boulder City was born.

The dam was finished more than 80 years ago, but the pretty town lives on, retaining more than a few reminders of its historic past.

The town was built beginning in 1931 to house the workers building the dam. The planned community offered lots of open, public spaces that remain to this day.

Of course, the federal government and its contractors didnt want workers playing around, so gambling was banned. Boulder City remains the only major city in Nevada that prohibits gambling. (For those who just cant help themselves, two casinos are located just outside the city limits.)

Alcohol, too, was once prohibited. That restriction was repealed many decades ago, a very fortunate thing for visitors who find themselves sampling the fare at the Boulder Dam Brewing Co. The brew pub, in the historic Old Town district, is decorated with equipment used in the dams construction and with art reflecting local history. And many folks drive all the way from Las Vegas to enjoy the award-winning beer.

Several historic buildings dating back to the dam-building days remain in the quaint Old Town district, including many government buildings and the 1933 Boulder Theater, operated today as a live performing-arts center owned by Desi Arnaz Jr.

Visitors seeking accommodations can still stay at the historic Boulder Dam Hotel, welcoming guests since 1933. The Dutch-colonial building looks a bit out of place among all the Southwestern-style buildings in Boulder City. But its beautiful, nonetheless, and also houses a small museum thats free to guests.

Visitors will also find many interesting shops in the Old Town district, including the Flying Saucer (Area 52), an alien-themed souvenir store that claims the “largest selection of extraterrestrial items in the state of Nevada.”

As someone whos been to Vegas, I can tell you that thats saying a lot.

For more information about exploring Boulder City, call 1-877-847-4858 or visit visitbouldercity.com.

— Steve Stephens can be reached at sstephens@dispatch.com or on Twitter @SteveStephens.

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