Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Dino Hotel Nears Completion! Part 1

You've probably heard me mention the Best Western Denver Southwest several times here on the blog: they are the folks who are changing their hotel into a dinosaur themed natural history museum/hotel extravaganza!  Well, the lobby is now complete, as is much of the rest of the dinosaur themed paraphernalia around the grounds!  Just a few more things are awaiting completion, but the hotel looks fantastic!  I thought I'd share some pictures of the hotel for you guys here!  For your information, the credit for all of the photos in this post goes to the Best Western Denver Southwest, unless it is otherwise noted or there is a stuffed Triceratops named Pyg in the picture!  But first, you should meet the stars of the hotel: the Tally family!

First, let's start on the outside of the hotel!  Here are the initial plans for the outside of the hotel:

And here is who greets you now when you walk inside: Stanley, the Stegosaurus!

Now, the lobby only just recently finished construction.  Until recently, the lobby entrance looked like this:

The lobby just finished construction and looks GREAT now, but first let's look at a few more construction pictures, just so you can get a feel for how far along everything has come!  First let's take a look at the pool!  In the far future, the room should be partially enclosed from the outdoors!

At the beginning of construction, this place looked like it does in the picture below with Meredith!

A few months later, we have their two children, Caroline and Joe Tally, talking about the future plans for the pool with a camera crew from the BBC!

Finally, here are some pictures of the pool from very recently, it is now finished!

At least, the pool itself is finished.  Sometime starting next year, the Tally's will be hiring someone to create a tile mosaic of some creatures that inhabited the Western Interior Seaway (which you can read more about HERE).  Oh....and did I forget to mention that the pool is in the shape of the seaway?  Pretty frickin' awesome if you ask me!

Now, a few pictures back, I mentioned that Joe and Caroline were talking to a BBC camera crew.  What was that all about?  Well, as you can imagine, this whole dinosaur hotel idea has been pretty popular to a whole lot of folks, and has made an appearance across a very wide range of media, one of which was a BBC story about it!  Check out the link HERE!  I also have several pictures of the filming!  First off, we have several pictures of the camera on Greg!

As you might have noticed in the video, the film crew also stopped at the Morrison Natural History Museum, my place of work!  There they interviewed the director and curator Matt Mossbrucker, and you can see a few of those pictures below!
Here the film crew watches as Matt excavates part of an Apatosaurus skull named Kevin upstairs in the lab!

Another big break for the hotel came from The Oatmeal!  We have a lot to cover here in this post so I won't take the time to delve into it myself, but you absolutely HAVE to check it out by clicking HERE: it is fantastic, I guarantee it!  These three screenshots below are credited to The Oatmeal!

It doesn't stop there, though!  The Tallys have also been featured in Entrepreneur magazine!  Here is a picture of the article, and you can read it yourself by clicking the link HERE!

And on the lighter side of things: have you ever heard of the popular YouTube series My Drunk Kitchen?  If not, make sure to check it out because it is hysterical: but especially make sure to check out the episode with the hotel and the museum in it!  Suffice it to say, the Tallys have definitely found their way down many different avenues of pop culture!
I don't really find it that surprising: what they're doing is freaking awesome!  Check out these murals that they are having painted on the back of the building!  The first one is a sort of walk through time, featuring all sorts of fun animals!  The close up below is of a prehistoric mammal called Uintatherium!

Here's another mural for you to check out:
As if that isn't enough awesome paleo art for you, hanging in the rooms will be copies of some of the watercolors made by an awesome paleontologist named Arthur Lakes who excavated a lot of cool things from the area, including some of the bones that we have in the museum!

There are also some awesome banners hanging on the poles outside the hotel!

These aren't the only reasons why the hotel is super cool, though: not by a long shot!  Usually every week, they have a Bird of Prey show and a Jungle Lady show!

First some pictures from the bird of prey shows!  First, a few pictures of Anne Price holding a barn owl!
Next, we have a picture of her holding a turkey vulture!
Next, we have Anne holding a Harris hawk, while Peter Reshetniak holds a great-horned owl!
 Here, Peter still holds the great-horned owl!
 Peter takes a turn with the Harris hawk!
Next, we have a picture of Peter holding a screech owl!

Finally, two kids are enthralled by the red-tailed hawk!
The Jungle Lady is really cool too, here are some pictures of the animals that she brings, too!  Here's Meredith with the albino Burmese python!

 And an albino hedgehog!

Here's a picture of a veiled chameleon named Prince Charming!

This post is really long: I am splitting it up into two parts!  Check back next time to learn about what REALLY makes the dinosaur hotel a DINOSAUR hotel!

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