The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

July 31, 2013

In Other News: One-night stay in inflatable hotel room is $50,000

DENVER — For a limited time, a Denver hotel is offering a package with a one-night stay in a pop-up, inflatable room that rises 22 feet in the air, thanks to a scissor lift on top of the van on which it sits.

The cost: $50,000.

There is a weight limit. No smoking is allowed.

Architect Alex Schweder created the 5-foot-by-7-foot, see-through room atop a van for the Biennial of the Americas festival of arts, culture and ideas in Denver. It has a chemical toilet, shower, sink, inflatable bed and couch, and curtains. It is being driven to parking lots around town through Aug. 23.

"It's a very small room but a very special room," Schweder said. "You're always on the top floor."

Now the Curtis hotel, which sponsored the piece, is offering the curious a chance to stay in the aluminum and inflated vinyl structure called "the hotel rehearsal."

Much of Schweder's work centers on the performance of architecture, focusing not so much on a structure but the actions within it. After Schweder learned developers want to turn several Denver parking lots into hotels, he created "the hotel rehearsal" as a foreshadowing of how the space could change. One early draft involved suspending the room from a crane. Schweder was encouraged to keep it more grounded.

For $50,000, a guest would get one weekend night in the puffy space, plus lots of extras including a diamond pendant and earrings, two iPod Nanos and a dance party for 100 people in a ballroom of the Curtis. The inflatable room holds 450 pounds. No alcohol is allowed inside, in hopes of discouraging people from using it as a bouncy castle.

At least one person has inquired about the room, said Kate Thompson, sales director at the Curtis. Schweder said much of the $50,000 will go toward insurance, but customers also will be supporting the future of the Biennial of the Americas.

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