Originally founded in 1931 as a community for the workers building Hoover Dam, Boulder City was the first planned community in southern Nevada. Designed by Saco Rienk DeBoer, it was a federal reservation. Only workers associated with the building or operations of the dam could live in the new community. Gaming and alcohol were both banned initially, and today Boulder City is the only incorporated city in Nevada where gaming is not allowed.
The community grew quickly. The post office opened and the rail line was completed to the dam site in 1931. The first airport opened in 1933. With the completion of the Boulder Canyon Project, the town became the home of dam workers and their families.
In 1959, the community was incorporated, with a celebration held on January 4, 1960. The land and buildings owned by the federal government were turned over to the new city. Since then, the community has grown, becoming the gateway to Hoover Dam.