A Rustic Boulder Motel, Boulder Daily Camera 1977
The Foot of the Mountain is the only motel remaining from its era and has the distinction of being the oldest, continuously operating motel in Boulder. It was built in the early 1930's by Charles and Mary Siebert. Their vision was to create a charming haven at the base of Boulder Canyon that catered to a more “upscale” crowd than those travelers camping in their cars across the street at Eben G. Fine Park. The Siebert’s, built the “cottage camp” themselves from hewn pine logs, as a retirement project. Their quirky design features, which remain to this day, include unexpected nooks, slightly off kilter doorframes and bathtubs placed specifically so you can soak and look up the wide expanse of Flagstaff Mountain.
Originally, the motel consisted of nine cottages and was one of several cottage camps along Arapahoe Avenue. While longtime guests of Foot of the Mountain still exclaim, “Everything looks just the same!” many upgrades and improvements have been made over the last 80 years. The original kitchens and carports have long since been converted to make nine additional units. Showers were installed. The coal stoves were replaced and the cabins were better insulated. In late 2014, the Motel went through a significant renovation which greatly modernized the rooms, while preserving and protecting the vintage charm of the cabins and grounds. And, of course the room rates from the 1930’s - $2.00 for a sleeping room, $5.00 for a kitchenette – have gone up slightly. But the knotty pine paneling, beamed ceilings, cheery bright red trim and the coziness, warmth and a friendly, family atmosphere remain.
An important tradition at the Foot of the Mountain is the motel’s operation as a locally owned and family-run business. In 1938 Walter and Audrey Snair bought the property. Walter Snair, a native of Walden, Colorado moved to Boulder County in 1910. He was a World War II veteran and a coal miner. He and his wife ran the property for 33 years. Larry and Maija Fisher bought the property in 1975. Maija once commented for the local newspaper that “Its got to be the best view from any motel bathtub in Boulder.” In 1984 the motel was sold to Dave and Carole Nordgren, who were instrumental in maintaining the motel as well as working to revitalize Eben G Fine park which sits across the street from the motel and has access to the Boulder Creek path, Settlers Open Space and a great playground for kids. Today the motel is owned by four local, Boulder families who continue its long tradition of personal, friendly service and comfort.
Another thing that remains unchanged is the Foot of the Mountain’s close proximity to Boulder’s vibrant downtown scene. Situated just minutes from Pearl Street and the University of Colorado, as well as steps away from some of the best hiking, cycling and rock climbing in the country, the Foot of the Mountain embodies what locals love about this city…history, nature, comfort, dining, nightlife and the classic Colorado sense of Adventure. Foot of the Mountain Motel is a place where time stops.