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Works of art can often be found in unexpected places, but this Denver arts festival's unique installation in a parking lot also comes with an unexpected price tag — $50,000.
That’s right, art lovers who have $50,000 dollars lying around — enough to buy a new Mercedes-Benz, a year of college tuition, or 173 weeks of groceries for the average family — can spend a night in an inflatable hotel room, suspended 20 feet in the air over a parking lot.
The offering, called the "hotel rehearsal," was dreamed up as part of the area's Biennial of the Americas arts festival, and the inflatable hotel room is the creation of performance architect Alex Schweder.
"Architecture is something that is performed as well as built," he told TODAY. "You know, think about it. A parking lot is a parking lot until you use it as a hotel. And if you use it as a hotel, it becomes a hotel site."
The 5-by-7 inflatable hotel room is quite a feat of engineering. It took over two months to build, has a full working bathroom with a shower, and outlets to charge all your electronics.
There’s no TV, but thanks to the impressive skylight created by the structure's clear plastic roof, who needs one? The room is thrust into the air off a hydraulic forklift, which gives visitors the sense of being beamed up to space.
"It's actually a really significant piece of engineering," explains festival director Erin Trapp. "There is a scissor lift the raises the facility 20 feet in the air. Its inflated so you need air compressors and heating and cooling there is a full working bathroom, a sofa and a bed."
If you do fork over the $50,000 it is considered a donation to charity as the festival is a non-profit. Plus, the fee includes a pair of Tiffany earrings, a party for 100 of your closest friends, and several iPods.
So far, there have been a few serious inquiries but no takers for what Kate Thompson of the Curtis Hotel, which created the $50,000 package, calls a "once in a lifetime opportunity."
"It's not like you're going to be able to spend a night in a hotel room like this," she said. "So you are supporting the arts you are able to spend a night in this incredibly cool structure."