The City of Las Vegas is well known around the world. Mention Boulder City to anyone outside of Southern Nevada and chances are they have never heard of the place. That is unfortunate and here is why.
First of all, Boulder City has an amazing history. All starting with the construction of the Hoover (formerly Boulder) Dam. Once the United States Bureau of Reclamation decided where on the Colorado River the dam would be built, thousands of unemployed men of the Great Depression arrived for jobs. Initially, men working on the dam settled into tents along the river. The area became known as “Ragtown”. This was unacceptable so the Bureau decided to improve the living conditions for the dam workers by establishing Boulder City in 1930.
The Bureau hired architect, Saco Rienk de Boer to plan the city with an emphasis on a clean-living environment for the dam workers. The City was designed to house 5,000 workers and their families. The status of the dam workers was reflected in their housing. The most important people had homes at the apex of town on a hill, managers had houses just down the hill and laborers lived furthest away from the parks and public buildings. Gambling and alcohol were banned to maintain a clean and safe environment. A theater was added in 1931 to entertain the residents, but many desired gambling and drinking outlets. The Railroad Pass was established in 1931 as the Railroad Pass Club. It was built to provide construction workers from Hoover Dam a place to gamble and drink.
The Bureau maintained control of Boulder City until 1959 when it became incorporated. The city’s charter continued the ban on alcohol and gambling and added restrictions to growth. Only 120 permits for single-family or multi-family residences are awarded each year. No hotels with more than 35 rooms are allowed. This is a bit ironic, at 208 square miles in size, Boulder City is the 35th largest city in the United States. In 1969 the city charter was amended to allow alcohol, but gaming is stilled banned to this day.
Today Boulder City is known as a clean, green oasis in the desert. Unlike its fast growing neighbors of Henderson and Las Vegas, Boulder City has maintained a modest growth rate with a current population of 15,700. The residents enjoy a quaint, small town atmosphere, historic charm and an excellent quality of life with a low crime rate and high quality police and fire services. The city also boast about their recreation facilities with three golf courses, year round swimming pool, tennis courts, a racquetball complex and numerous hiking trails and parks.
Numerous fun events are held in Boulder City, most of which are held at Bicentennial Park. Events like the Boulder City Jamboree, The Best Dam BBQ, The Damboree Celebration and National Night Out.
Residents still can’t gamble in the city limits, but they do make the short trip to Railroad Pass Hotel & Casino. At Railroad Pass they can play table games and the latest slot machines. For some traditional gamblers the casino still has classic coin in coin out machines.
Southern Nevada visitors should stopover at Boulder City and enjoy its historic center, check out Bicentennial Park or visit one of its events. Many of the events are sponsored by the Railroad Pass Hotel and Casino