A nighttime scene of a residential neighborhood with the faint glimmer of wildfire in the background.
Wildfires destroyed 991 homes and buildings in Boulder County, damaging 127 more, on Dec. 31, 2021. Credit: Anthony Albidrez

Editor’s note: This story is being updated with new information as it becomes available.

After the devastation caused by the Marshall and Middle Fork fires, thousands of Boulder County residents have been left without homes. Power grid failures and gas line stoppages have left even more without electricity or heat. 

To help the displaced find a place to sleep, the Boulder Convention & Visitors Bureau on Saturday published a list of six local hotels offering discounted rates for those impacted by the most structurally destructive wildfire in state history.

The listed hotels are very busy due to the increased demand from evacuees — some have even sold out in the past two days. 

The Boulder Reporting Lab spoke with hotel employees to get a sense of how supply is meeting demand after the historic destruction of 991 homes and buildings, with damage to 127 more. They stressed the uncertainty of the situation. Capacity and demand could change in the coming hours or days.

The Boulder Marriott
2660 Canyon Blvd.

Fewer than 10 rooms were available at the Boulder Marriott as of Saturday evening. By Sunday, Jan. 2, that number was closer to 20.

Rayla Vallone, an employee at the hotel, estimated on Saturday that 85% of those staying at the hotel were evacuees. The hotel has about 160 sleeping rooms. 

“We’ve been … [housing] people who have lost everything,” Vallone said.

She said the hotel had received many calls from residents offering to buy rooms for those in need or drop off essential goods.

The hotel is also housing several workers from Xcel Energy, who are in the city to help restore power and gas outages.

The Marriott is offering rooms for $129 a night. The usual price for a room is $159 a night. (The CVB website incorrectly lists the discounted rate as this usual price, according to rates provided by hotel staff.) 

The Embassy Suites Boulder
2602 Canyon Blvd.

No rooms were available as of Sunday evening. Ten rooms had been available the night before. Collin Lathan, an employee at the Embassy Suites, said the hotel is also suffering from a staffing shortage due to Friday’s snowstorm. 

Embassy Suites is offering rooms for $99 a night. Prices here are usually closer to $170.

Hilton Garden Inn
2701 Canyon Blvd

At the Hilton Garden Inn, an employee said the hotel was completely sold out for Saturday night and had been sold out the night prior as well. They were also sold out as of Sunday evening. The employee said the majority of those staying in the hotel’s 172 rooms are evacuees.

When space becomes available, the Garden Inn is offering rooms for $99 a night. That’s a $91 discount from its usual rate of $190 for the New Years’ holiday.

Residence Inn by Marriott Boulder Canyon Boulevard
2550 Canyon Blvd.

The Residence Inn on Canyon Boulevard had two rooms available on Saturday, but were sold out as of Sunday evening.

The Residence Inn is offering rooms for $128 a night. The usual rate is around $159 a night.

At the time of publication, the Boulder Reporting Lab was not able to reach the two other hotels listed by the Boulder CVB: the Boulder Adventure Lodge at 91 Four Mile Canyon Drive, described on the Bureau’s website as “free temporary lodging for evacuees,” and Millennium Harvest House at 1345 28th St., whose rate is listed on the website as $75 a night and $450 a week.

Correction: An earlier version of this story said 991 homes had been destroyed. That number also includes non-residential buildings and businesses, but the vast majority are homes. The article has been updated to more accurately describe the nature of the destroyed and damaged structures.

Henry Larson was a summer 2022 reporting fellow at Boulder Reporting Lab. He was the editor-in-chief of the CU Independent, the University of Colorado Boulder’s digital student news outlet. His reporting has also appeared in CPR News and The Daily Camera.