Boulder Chamber’s History
In 1905 the commercial activity in Boulder was already in its fourth decade. Many business owners and leaders in the city decided it was time to have an official organization to promote Boulder as the best place to live, work and visit. The Daily Camera described in its August 4, 1905 edition how the Boulder Commercial Association was organized to be the main business center in Boulder County, and the place tourists chose to visit. "Boulder must wake up and profit, as other cities have done, by telling people how this is the place to live," announced the leadership of the organization that was to become the Boulder Chamber.
Initially, Chamber members were concerned about Boulder's economic vitality and as a result, built the Hotel Boulderado in an effort to attract visitors. The members also had working committees focused on issues such as transportation, education, legislative affairs and irrigation.
In the 1950s Boulder Chamber President Franny Reich put together a consortium of donors to offer land to the Federal Government in an effort to recruit the National Bureau of Standards. Perhaps that single event did more to change the face of Boulder than did any other. The Chamber was also instrumental in the development of the Boulder/Denver tollway in 1952. Through these two events and with the University of Colorado as the cornerstone of our community, Boulder became a technology hub and an entrepreneurial community of international fame.
The Chamber in the 1980s helped shape the growth of Boulder as the creation of thousands of new jobs brought in new residents. The involvement of thousands of business owners over the decades regarding land use decisions and other growth policies has helped shape the Boulder we enjoy today. The vibrant economy of the 1990s saw more revenue from sales and use taxes flow to programs aimed at open space preservation, alternative transportation projects and other quality of life amenities that make Boulder the best place to live, work and play.
Looking back at the timeline, one has to be impressed by the tremendous influence the Chamber's had in Boulder. It is as involved and impactful now as it was in 1905 and 1955. In 2005 the Chamber celebrated its 100 year anniversary while organizing a cross section of the business community to influence the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan. This document will guide the future growth and redevelopment of the city and help balance the city's values with the need for economic vitality.
It is our hope that history will reflect the Boulder Chamber's important role in maintaining that equilibrium when the next 100 years is celebrated. To help us continue our legacy of positive impact on the Boulder area, please consider joining today or learn how you can become more involved.