You Need to Be in Boulder City This Weekend

So I had to do a dry run for a private tour planned for this coming weekend.  That meant I had to drive through Boulder City.  Yes, I know, I just Had To!  As if I needed a reason to do it!  Suddenly a bunch of really nice office filing cabinets stacked next to the American Legion caught my eye.  Followed by the neighboring church backyard filled with some really nice looking furniture and other stuff.  A yard sale?  I had to stop and look. it was too good to pass up.

Boulder City Country Store

Meet the dynamo named Pandora

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At the gate, I was greeted by a really big ray of sunshine wearing a T-Shirt that I loved.  ” Horses, Chocolate, and Wine. I’ve Found My Happy Place”  Anyone wearing a shirt like that, I need to meet and say hello!  She introduced herself as Pandora Ahlstrom and started to explain what this was.

What This Is

The Grace Community Church’s 70th annual Country Store.    What followed was a tour of the “store”.  She should have told me to wear roller skates. This store takes up several buildings and yards of donations they have collected over the past year.  This being Monday, they were just getting things set up and organized.  As we walked and talked, she introduced me to several of the volunteers while also giving directions and guidance as they were all working to set up the individual departments.  Yes, I said departments!  It’s That Big!

This is not just a yard sale filled with whatever people have donated to the church.  This is the hand-selected, cream of the crop.  The top 5% of all donations. This is “the really good” stuff!  The other 95% is passed down to other charities. This stuff is like nearly new or better stuff and will be sold CHEAP.  All money raised goes to local charities and organizations.

grace community church

Just one part of the womenswear department

Not Your Ordinary Sale

I love sales. The garage sale was always a family tradition. I think it’s in my genes. My grandmother was a weekend garage sale-aholic and my mother had a bit of that and now I know I love to see a good sale.  But this is wayyy beyond my comprehension!  Seriously.  When she kept taking me from one building to another. Each filled with some really good quality stuff at ridiculously cheap, even for garage sale prices, cheap prices. I was floored.  And she told me they just started to get everything out of boxes and storage and from wherever they had it stored and separated. There’s more to set up!!

Jewelry sale

The Jewelry Department getting set up!

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This Can Not Be Explained

Seriously. I have seen some serious sales before, but nothing on this level of size, quality and prices.  To think it was only Monday and only part of what they have collected and graded over the past year was out being organized, I think my mind may explode when I see it open on Friday.  Photos do not do it justice.

Christmas sale in boulder city

Setting up the Christmas department

Grace Country Store

Ok, I babbled on enough. Here it is from the church website itself!

“Grace Community Church offers its annual Country Store, a major fund-raising function of the church with the proceeds going to missions and church improvements.
This annual event not only includes the entire congregation, it also includes the community.
The community participates by attending and working at the sale and by the many donations that are made throughout the year.

The first Country Store was held in 1947 in the church basement by the Ladies Aid Society.

Today it encompasses the entire church property and has spread next door to the American Legion facility as well.

This is not only a major fund-raiser for the church, it is also the largest fellowship building event of the year!”

Glassware On Sale Country Store

Glasswares Anyone??

A Short Time To Sell It All

For seventy years, this little non-denominational church in the heart of Boulder City has been holding this Country Store and it’s only open for this Friday and for a few hours on Saturday.  So get your walking shoes on, make a list of things you may need or want because I am pretty sure they have it here. Grab a friend or two and come on out to get a good deal. Your purchases will be helping out some people in need.  Plus you get to spend the day in a fun little town just outside the chaos of Las Vegas!

Friday, October 18th – 9 to 5
Saturday, October 19th – 8 – 2

Grace Community Church
1150 Wyoming Street, Boulder City, NV 89005

Tel: (702) 293-2018


Click for Google Maps Directions

Volunteer?  If you want, they could also use some more help in setting up, getting the boxers out of storage and getting the word out. Call them!!!

Boulder City Secret Pet Cemetery

If you drive between Las Vegas and Searchlight Nevada, out towards Boulder City, you have passed it and never knew it was there.  In fact, many people living around here don’t know its there. Yet it’s so close to the highway that if you look closely, you may see the signs of its existence.   A pet cemetery.  Maybe not a “secret” pet cemetery. It is an illegal one since people are still burying their pets out there.

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It’s There Hidden in Plain Sight

I’ve been living here for 19 years and I didn’t know it was there until I went looking for information on another Boulder City project that I am working on. I found a neat little blog by Jim Sullivan of  PlacesThat  He mentioned visiting the old “Illegal and Secret” Boulder City Pet Cemetery.   That caught my attention.  What was that? An old pet cemetery?  Where?

Supposedly it was started in the 1950s by a veteran who lived in Boulder City who wanted a special place to bury his pets. So he went a little way out of town and started to dig. Some other townspeople found out what he was doing and they wanted the same for their deceased pet, so the man started to offer his pet burial services.

Problem was that he was doing this on Federal land and apparently it’s illegal to bury your pets on Federal land.  Besides that issue, the area is prone to flash floods and is really popular with some of the local coyotes who hunt that area looking for food. Fresh buried dog, hungry coyote. Hmmm… what could possibly go wrong??


Don't Bury Your Pets Here

Boulder City Steps in

In the 1990s, Boulder City did some land trades and purchases with the Federal government. Taking this land for a tortoise habitat. That meant they were going to go in and clear the area of anything that was non-native to the area.  Like pet cemeteries!  So “friends” of the pet cemetery got together and they made a deal with the federal and local governments to allow it to stay there, “as is”.  It’s still illegal to bury any bodies out there (when did that stop anyone from Las Vegas??).  At least they got everyone to agree to let what was there, stay there.


Recent Burial at the Boulder City Pet Cemetery

It’s Still There

Over the years, Mother Nature, wild animals and maybe even a few unfriendly tourists, have taken its toll on the place.  People still go out there to bury pets, but it’s looking abandoned and obviously neglected.  Looking around, it is interesting to see what people have done to honor their beloved pets.  How they wanted the best for them in the end or maybe just a place to remind them of what they lost.

Pet Cemetery in Boulder city

Leave No Trace

If you decide on your next journey to Las Vegas that you want to visit Boulder City, and you really should, and you want to stop to see this place… Please be respectful and leave it as you found it.

Yes, Mother Nature is taking its toll on the landscape. Wind blowing, flash floods, hot scorching sun, along with years of coyotes looking for food, all have done a lot of damage to the gravesites.   That doesn’t mean you should add to the damage or take home a souvenir.  Stop, look around, take some pictures, then leave with the memories. Save it as you found it for the next people who want to follow you out there.

Thank You


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252 Talking About The Dam Short Film Festival

This past weekend the little town that built a dam, that would be Boulder City, Nevada, held its 15th annual Dam Short Film Festival.  That’s right. Boulder City, that tiny town 30 minutes outside of Las Vegas,  has a film festival that also ranks as one of the top film festivals in the world! I know, I was shocked as well.

Before it all got going, I had some time to talk with a wonderful lady named Fetalina.  Short for Tsvetalina Stefanova. She is the director of development for the Dam Short Film Festival. The interview was held inside the historic Boulder Theater.  This building was built in 1931 and for many years, this was the ONLY building around that had that new-fangled thing called air conditioning!

It is now owned by Desi Arnez Jr. He is the son of legendary comedian and tv star Lucille Ball.  Yes, that Desi Arnaz Jr.

Here is my interview with Fetilina and the Dam Short Film Festival!




What is The Dam Short Film Festival?

Who would have ever thought that a little town built in 1931, in the middle of the Mohave desert, far from anything resembling existence, a town built to house the dam workers for what would become Hoover Dam; would one day become home to one of the top film festivals in the world?? Surpise!! It Has!!

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Boulder City?

When I first started to do tours and I learned of the film festival, I kind of laughed about it. “Little ole’ Boulder City has a film festival?” Yes, they do and I’m not laughing anymore. This is a big deal!

This film festival is in a little town of 16, 000 people, right next to the metropolis of Las Vegas. To be here, IS a big deal to a lot of people.  And the residents here take it all seriously.  Its called the “Dam Short Film Festival”  2019 will mark the 15th year of its existence and like the town its hosted in, it’s actually world famous.

According to reviews from FilmFreeway users, the Dam Short Film Festival ranks in the top 1.5% of more than 7,000 film festivals and creative contests around the world. That’s a nice place to be!

The Dam Short Film Festival is held in Boulder City, Nevada.  About 3o minutes away from the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign and about 5 minutes from Hoover Dam.  Boulder City likes to say they are the town that built a Dam! (true) The festival runs from February 7 to the 10, 2019.

Book Your Hoover Dam Tour Today  )

What will be shown

Categories for the 15th Annual Dam Short Film Festival include Drama, Comedy, Documentary, Sci-Fi/Horror, Animation, Student, Music Video, and Nevada Filmmaker, presented in 20+ thematic program blocks over four days. It’s an experience that’s guaranteed to enlighten, entertain, and inspire.  Click to see the film list

According to their website:  At the Dam Short Film Festival, it’s the audience that chooses the award winners. After each screening, audience members receive a voting chip and struggle to select a favorite film of the program. Festival organizers tabulate the results, and the best films take home the one-of-a-kind awards, each hand-crafted by a local artist.

Where Will The Films Be Shown

That’s The Cool Part!  All the films will be shown in Digital Cinema format.  That’s nice, bit for a history buff like myself, I love that the films will be presented in the 400-seat Boulder Theatre.   This little gem is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Boulder Theatre was built in 1933 by Fox Theaters and was the only air-conditioned building in town!

Back Story: In 1997, the then closed Fox Movie theatre was purchased by actor/musician Desi Arnaz Jr. and his wife “Miss Amy” in 1997.  Does the name ring a bell?  Yes, it’s THAT Desi Arnaz Jr. As in Little Ricky Ricardo!  They restored the little theatre back to its former glory and used it for community theatre as well as a place to house their Boulder City Ballet Company.

Desi’s wife, Miss Amy was a long time Boulder City resident who, in the early 70’s, went to New York City to study summer ballet at the famous Joffrey School. At the Boarding House, she was assigned a roommate named Kathy.  After they graduated, they stayed penpals for a few years then lost contact with each other.

The Dam Short Film Festival

Seventeen years later, Miss Amy and Desi were watching a ballet competition on TV one night and she saw Kathy dancing.  When checking the credits, Miss Amy realized her friend had married and was now know as Kathy Thibodeaux. Desi commented that Keith Thibodeaux, the child actor who played Little Ricky on the “I Love Lucy” show had married a ballerina. They came to realize that her one-time roommate Kathy had married Lucy and Desi’s TV son while she married the real-life son!

Back to the Festival!

Festival schedule

Thursday, Feb. 7: Movie screenings from noon to 10 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 8: Movie screenings from noon to 6:30 p.m.; filmmaker meet-n-greet from 6:30-8 p.m.; movie screenings from 8-10:30 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 9: College of Southern Nevada showcase from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Movie screenings from 1:45 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.; Dam Mixer from 6:30-8 p.m.; movie screenings from 8-10:45 p.m.

Sunday, Feb. 10: Movie screenings from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.; Best of the Fest from 7:30-9 p.m.; awards party starting at 9 p.m.

More Information: Dam Short Film Festival

Follow them: #DAMSHORTFILM

We are excited, The Vegas Tourist will be there!  This will be our first year attending as Media and are looking forward to the experience. If you are attending and see us, please stop us and say “Hello”!

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Driving the New Interstate 11! No More Boulder City Backups

In a somewhat surprising move, the new Interstate 11/Boulder City Bypass has been opened in both directions two months ahead of schedule. Instead of October, they had the dedication and ribbon cutting on Thursday.  By Friday, the barricades and lane restrictions were gone. So I went for a drive to check it all out.

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No More Boulder City

The first thing you notice on the drive is that there are literally no signs for Boulder City or of Boulder City except on the two exits.  Otherwise, the city doesn’t exist in the minds of travelers. You can see a few houses and other buildings off on the horizon, but nothing that says “Hey, You should see what you are missing”.  And that’s a shame. Boulder City is a beautiful little town that people really should take the time to stop and explore.

Having said that, it is actually a really boring drive. Most of the road is 15 miles of open. Its a straight road with a few hills and curves.  A lot of open, flat desert scrubland punctuated with a beautiful overlook of Lake Mead and some power lines and power transfer substation!  CAUTION: Being open and flat, you may want to push a little heavier on the accelerator. I would not do that.  Watch Your Speed (65mph). The Boulder City Police have already staked out a few sneaky hideouts to sit and wait for speeders to pass by. Seriously good hideouts!

Lake Mead Interstate 11 overlook

The new Lake Mead Overview

Amazing Scenery

What little scenery there is, is of course, amazing!  On the southbound side, heading to the Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge, at the crest of the hill is an overlook.  Stop a moment there and you will get to see Lake Mead stretched out before you.  Ok, it’s a little low and getting lower, but from this perch, you can see its greatness as well as the unique diversity with the mountains surrounding it.  This lets you know that you have indeed left the megacity of Las Vegas and entered into the scenic wilds of the Mojave Desert.

Limited Access

Eliminating that often congestive long line in Boulder City, waiting to make the left hand turn to head to the border, will be a great time saver.  Leaving Las Vegas or coming from Arizona, doing freeway speeds will cut your time down by 15 minutes if not more on the weekends.  One of the other time savers is that this is a limited freeway. There are only three entrance ramps from start to finish. Meaning long, open roads without much need for lane changes.

No Congestion to Lake Mead or Hoover Dam

Those wanting to visit Lake Mead National Park, the scenic, and now faster route will still be through Boulder City. Less traffic, better time to view the scenery, see what makes Boulder City the little town that time forgot. Maybe stop to see if the bighorn sheep are down in Hemenway Park and not worry about the traffic congestion.  Relax and enjoy it all!

Big Horn Sheep like to graze in Hemenway Park in Boulder City

Boulder City Big Horn Sheep

Going to Hoover Dam can be a new experience as well. Use the new Interstate 11 to go to the Dam, see the Dam then drive Boulder City Parkway back into Boulder City as you head back to Las Vegas.  Stop in Boulder City, grab a meal, do some small-town shopping and enjoy the rest of the day before rejoining modern society in the jungles of Las Vegas!

Yes, I am trying to get you to visit Boulder City. It’s a little town unlike any you have seen before!

We Were First

The Interstate 11 project is to be part of a larger series of interstate highways to help with the flow of international traffic that was part of the NAFTA Treaty (hopefully being replaced by the updated USMCA) . A trade agreement between the United States, Canda, and Mexico. Interstate 11 is to connect Las Vegas, Nevada to Phoenix, Arizona.  Currently, we are connected by a series of state highways as well as one section of Interstate 40.  Making for a very long and often times dangerous drive for long-haul truckers and others needing to do trade between our cities as well as nations. Arizona has yet to identify its route of Interstate 11 and start building.

What are your thoughts on the new interstate?

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