Some celebrities, such as Boris Karloff, stayed here to establish residency for a Nevada divorce. Others, including Will Rogers, came to perform at the Boulder Theatre next door. Current owners Amy and Desi Arnaz Jr.--of the lovable family--are hoping that productions at the remodeled theater, scheduled to reopen next year, will draw crowds from Las Vegas. The remodeled hotel also houses a gift shop and art gallery, with works by locals.
Along the main street, the town's handful of diners, restaurants, and shops makes for interesting browsing. One not to miss is Where on Earth?, which has a wide assortment of rocks, fossils, and unusual gifts.
Though it may be possible to resurrect some of the town's former ritziness, Boulder City will likely always remain a community apart, removed from the hustle of Las Vegas. It's a refreshing break--just don't expect to gamble when you go.
Boulder City is 23 miles southeast of Las Vegas. For general information, contact the Boulder City Chamber of Commerce (1305 Arizona St.; 702/293-2034 or www.bouldercitychamber.com).