May 8, 2017

The Hoover Dam and Spillway House – A perfect day trip from Las Vegas


Stretching across the border between Nevada and Arizona lies the Hoover Dam, one of America’s most famous landmarks. The dam provides hydroelectric power to California and Arizona and controls flooding of the Colorado River, making life in the Southwest what it is today — and making the dam itself one of the most important structures in the United States.

Constructed between 1931 and 1935, the dam is 726 feet high, 1,244 feet wide, and 660 feet thick at the base. The dam powers 17 generators, which produce over four billion kilowatt-hours of power annually. Over half of this is used by California; the remainder is split between Nevada and Arizona.

Hoover Dam and Las Vegas have something of a special relationship. In fact, when rumors spread that there were plans to build a dam in the area, Las Vegas temporarily worked to clean up its reputation, closing down speakeasies and brothels in hopes of being home to the project headquarters (and reaping the financial rewards). The dam itself is only forty minutes away from Las Vegas by charter or school bus, making it a popular destination for student groups, educators, or those who just want to see the breathtaking, majestic vista of Lake Mead.

Hundreds of special events are held at the Hoover Dam every year. The newest addition to the dam is the Spillway House, which is anticipated to open for events in 2017. The house will be able to offer up to two hundred guests an amazing view of Lake Mead and the dam.

The Spillway House was originally known as the Snacketeria, and was built in 1988 on the side of the canyon about a hundred yards north of the dam itself. It was originally sold gifts and food related to the dam, but when the High Scaler Cafe (so named for the acrobatic construction workers who would rappel down the Black Canyon) opened in 2000, the Snacketeria mostly became an outlet for Hoover Dam memorabilia.

In 2001, an evaluation of the Spillway House determined it was in need of rehabilitation, and the building was closed in 2007. After some consideration and a long look at the cost of rehabilitation, the old Snacketeria was removed entirely, and a new, sustainable Spillway House was put up in its place. Preliminary construction began in 2012 and was mostly completed by fall of 2013.

The Spillway House offers exhibits for the public, featuring a miniature of Hoover Dam and interactive sustainability model showcasing the green elements of the Spillway House itself. The building was designed to be “flexible and adaptive,” allowing the public space to be reconfigured for various purposes, including special events or unique exhibits.

If you’re planning an event and want to make the Hoover Dam a part of it, you should know they require four weeks of lead time, but because the wait list is long, three months advance notice is recommended.

And if you want to make planning your Hoover Dam excursion easy and stress-free, let Metropolitan Shuttle help. Whether you’re planning a family vacation, educational outing, or corporate event at the Spillway House, we have the vehicle you need and the expertise to make your trip a snap. Want to find out more? Call us at 1-866-556-3545 or contact us today for a free quote.


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