The Morris Hotel: The First Burner Hotel in the World

Jungle Jim in front of the Morris Hotel (YouTube screen capture)
Jungle Jim in front of the Morris Hotel (YouTube screen capture)

If you’d like to see Burning Man’s 10 Principles in action in the real world, just head down to 4th Street in Reno, and have a look at the Morris Hotel. Recently purchased by Jim Gibson (aka Jungle Jim on the playa), The Morris will be the first Burner hotel in the world.

Communal effort, radical inclusion, radical self-expression, gifting, civic responsibility, participation, leave no trace, immediacy — they’re all here in spades, and in a way that makes for an inspiring alchemy.

The hotel boasts 43 rooms, each of which will be designed and decorated by Burner artists. There’s a back lot for fire performers to practice and hone their craft. There are hopes of establishing a community garden to support the local homeless population. And of course, as happens with Burners, there are a slew of other ideas percolating. While the hotel is technically open right now (and will be hosting a small number of international Burning Man artists before this year’s Burn), Jim hopes to have it all spit-and-polished by the end of the year.

They have a long way to go, but Jim sure seems like the kind of guy — together with the incredible Reno community — to make it happen. Jim says he’s fallen in love with Reno and its artists, and we suspect that love will not go unrequited. We’re excited to see how this experiment unfolds.

Here’s a video from Ky Plaskon, where Jim talks about his vision for the Morris Hotel:

If you’d like to get involved, head over to the Morris Burner Hotel Project group on Facebook. We’ll post more as we hear about it.

About the author: Will Chase

Will Chase first attended Burning Man 2001. He was Burning Man's Web Team Project Manager and Webmaster from 2004-2009, and the Operations Manager and member of the Art Council for the ARTery (Burning Man's art department headquarters in Black Rock City) from 2003-2008. In 2009, he transitioned into the Communications Department, where his responsibilities include global communication strategy, authoring the Jackrabbit Speaks Newsletter, content management for the Burning Man website, coordination of Burning Man's social networking efforts, and acting as editor for the Burning Blog. Tales of his sordid adventures can be found on his website.

15 thoughts on “The Morris Hotel: The First Burner Hotel in the World

  • This project is going to be “yet another game-changer” on the Reno/Sparks burner scene! Thank you Jungle Jim for your vision and for sharing it with our burner friends from around the globe! I’m proud to be your friend…

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  • This thing is really happening and I am so honored and excited to be a part of it. The burning man cultire has become such an important part of our lives, it is my hope that this place will be yet another example of how this community is changing the world, one little step at a time. YES! Peace. JJ.

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  • The name Morris Hotel means nothing to the burner community. It may be a perfect time to change the name to something that has a legacy. “The Larry Hotel”. “Black Rock City Hotel”. “Highway 447 Inn”. “Hotel 447″.

    The housekeepers can run the vacuums in reverse and dust up the rooms daily.

    It’s great to see this dream taking shape in Reno. It looks like it’s the starts of lots of exciting things to come.

    Congrats JJ!

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  • as a local, i have long loved that hotel and i’m thrilled something positive is happening to the building. my two concerns were for the current residents of the hotel (i don’t want them to be displaced out of home some have had for many years), and for the homeless in the area (i don’t want them forced out of sight somewhere to please some aesthetic — and i’m glad to hear there are plans to assist them with a community garden. that’s the burner way!). well done, and i look forward to this project growing and helping to change 4th street.

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  • Jim- I love this idea and the actions you’ve taken! I’m committed to making a trip to see your hotel and maybe lend some horticultural experience to your gardens. Best wishes, CC

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  • This is boss! The start of a wave, for sure! I wanna stay there before the Burn; coming all the way from Maui with my Burgin braddah. Wanna book now!!! <3

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  • plates 2011 blackrock playa youtube — view it

    jim good job, i may have something you would be interested in – my project!

    it was out there in 11, goto art installations, i had all 50 states decorated with items representing that state…..my fifth project out on the perimeter fence….

    it might make a great touch spread them around, actual pieces that have actually graced the playa, and a bit dudty still i bet…..if interested let me know….dont think u have wall space but all 50 in one spot! interesting….

    first year was ’97 before street names and 65000 people…..blinkingman camp,
    phenceart…………good job i hope it works out well for you and the lucky guests!
    dragnet

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  • Wonderful! I would move from Iowa to Reno to work for this hotel. Seriously. My husband & I have over 10 years hotel experience and friendly Midwestern hospitality. Jungle Jim message me please!

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  • I am into old hotlels of which there are many being reconfigured for fun modern times. Twelve dollars a night is kind. I hope it turns out classy, comfortable and welcoming to all. I didn’t quite catch if the local homeless population was living n the hotel which would not make them homeless unless they are squatting. Apparently they can afford something. They are poor like many other people, even burners. How about a human hotel?

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  • Yesterday, while I was at work, my cousin stole my apple ipad and tested to see if it can survive a 25 foot drop, just
    so she can be a youtube sensation. My apple ipad is now broken and she has 83 views.
    I know this is completely off topic but I had to share it with someone!

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