The $3 million remodel for the Best Western Denver Southwest, located at 3440 South Vance Street, reaches back over 250 million years for its inspiration. The concept: come roaring back as a dinosaur themed natural history museum, replete with skeletons, fossil displays and exhibits. The dedication and grand reopening is slated for April 19, Earth Day weekend 2013.
"We'll be creating a strong sense of regional identity by celebrating the unique paleontological history of the Dinosaur Ridge area," says Best Western Owner Greg Tally.
Inside the 112 room hotel, there will be curiosity cases, specimen boxes, original aged, yellowed "Field Note" sketches that explain all the displays. Old reproduction lithographs of dinosaurs will line the hallways. There will be two restaurants, Paleo Joe’s and Roof Lizard Lounge, as well as a limited services “pocket spa,” Chalk. Also, a bogus satirical fraternal organization will serve as the museum entity -- The Venerated Order of the Stegosaur. The classroom/child care program will be Terrible Lizard Club (TLC).
"We’ve already started acquiring fossil casts and cases for the displays — including Sophie, a 30 plus foot Tylosaur, who will hang from the ceiling inside Joe's,” says Tally. "For our homey natural history museum/explorer's club vibe, we are using a dark, rich earthy palate, with a decidedly masculine presence. Overstuffed leather furniture, vibrant woods, curiosity cabinets and specimen drawers will complete the feel."
A brand-new zero point entry swimming pool will be lined with an Italian tesserae mosaic Late Cretaceous Niobrara Sea.
"Imagine Ammonites, Belemnites, Mosasaurs, Archelons and Plesiosaurs swimming along the bottom. A few pterosaurs flying overhead, and living fossil potted cycads, palms, magnolias, fig trees, horsetails and ferns inside and out. Guests will be able to swim with the Mosasaurs," says Tally.
Also part of the project are 100 percent remodeled room packages and bathrooms, flat screen TVs, new guest room doors and windows, a resurfaced parking lot and updated landscaping, front facade and porte cochere.
Later construction phases slated for 2015 will include the addition of an elevator and covering the pool.